Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
After writing about the age rule that we have in our home, I was thinking about the way that other foster families set boundaries for the children that they can take into their homes. I wanted to talk about how I feel about taking in children based on age, when the ages of other children in the home is not a factor for families.
I think that a lot of couples who decide to become foster parents picture being able to adopt from foster care, which means that they want to take in a child as young as possible. While the majority of children go home to their biological parents, there is always that possibility that you may be able to keep a child forever. Let's be honest here...there's also always the show-off factor; new foster parents want to show off their beautiful new children. The harsh reality is that a lot of people would rather show off a new baby than the pre-teen they just took in.
There's a big need for foster parents who are willing to take in older children. In a family like mine, yes, we only take in children younger than our youngest family member, but that doesn't mean that we only take in infants and toddlers. When it was just my brother and I, before he was officially a Krigsman, we took in a girl who was a year younger than me (a year older than him). I was in second grade, she was in first, and my brother was in kindergarten. Okay, sure, maybe that wasn't exactly an "older" child, but a lot of people only want to take in the cute little babies. It's important to remember how much school age children (whether they be in elementary, middle, or high school) need foster homes too.
If you're thinking about becoming foster parents, and you have older children, no children, or you're willing to take in kids older than the ones you already have, then please, think about telling DSS that you'll take in older children, not just infants and toddlers. They need help, and there's not enough people out there who can help them.
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.