It's Foster Parent Friday, so tonight I'm featuring an interview with a foster mom named Ingrid, from New South Wales, Australia! Don't forget to go back and read the interviews with my mom and a foster mom named Nicki too, if you haven't seen those yet!
Do you do respite, short-term, or long-term care?
"Currently doing long term but have done respite, emergency, and short term."
How many children have you taken in over that period of time?
"I think it's 32."
Do you limit your care to a certain age group? If so, what ages do you take in?
"Originally we limited care to teenagers because we were both working full time and didn't have the capacity to take on little ones. However, that has changed over the years and now we just assess whether we can fit a child into the family based on who is living with us and whether we have a spare room!
Have you ever adopted any children? If so, how many?
"No adoptions. Teenagers don't generally want to be adopted lol."
Did you have any biological children when you started foster care? If so, how many? How old were they at the time?
"Yes, 4 children: 11, 13, 15, and 17."
What were your biggest concerns as you started your foster care journey?
"Our greatest concern was whether a child would fit into our family, especially in terms of our own 4 children and their reactions to a new addition. We had some ups and downs but we got through them."
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from being a foster parent?
"That you can't always help everyone that you care for."
Is there anything you would change about your experience as a foster parent?
"I wouldn't change anything. Our experiences are what make us the people we are today."
Do you have any words of wisdom for future or new foster parents?
"No matter what you think of birth families, they are the child's family and the child loves them regardless (I've only had one child in 18 years who did not want contact with their mother). Keep your opinions to yourself and let the things they say, either directly or via the child, go over your head. It generally isn't about you - it's about their own shortcomings."
Are you a foster parent who is interested in doing an interview for Foster Parent Fridays? Send me a message through my Contact page and I'll give you the details! I'm looking forward to sharing more interviews in the future to showcase the perspectives of other foster parents!
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