Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thanks to my Support Group

There is no way I could be a foster parent without help. I rely so much on my friends and neighbors, my family, the social workers, schools and day care providers. They are my support group. This post is kind of like a thank you speech at an awards ceremony. It may be a bit long, so please bear with me.

First I’d like to thank my friends and neighbors. Some wrote nice reference letters on my behalf back when I applied to become a foster parent. Some, like Tracy, help me out with the kids when I’m in a bind, and provide adult outings for me so that I don’t go insane. Still others put up with all the different kids that I unleash on the neighborhood.

Second (but really a tie for first) I’d like to thank my family. My Mom, my Dad and my brother have all been very supportive from the beginning. It would be hard to do this for very long without their support, emotional and otherwise.

Pictured here, left to right, is my dad, brother Joe, mom,
friend Tracy, and I forget who that last guy is.

Third are the social workers, and there are many. There is the worker that supports me and my foster home. There are all the kid’s workers. There are the emergency shelter care workers that make that first call to me when a child needs a home. Then there are all the workers that check up on medical and dental visits, special education, and court interactions. Social workers and foster parents need each other, for neither of us can do what we do without the other.

Fourth are the staff of my local schools; Principals, office administrators, teachers, therapists, etc. Dealing with foster children has got to be tough on a school. They come in unexpectedly, they usually have special problems and are below grade level, and like us foster parents, they often must deal with these kids without the background information that they would normally have. Despite all this, they always greet me warmly and try their hardest for the kids.

Finally I have to thank the day care providers in my area. I have probably used them all! Being a single, working foster parent, I rely on being able to enroll my kids into one of these programs on short notice. I am also thankful when they understand that I am not in control of when foster children leave my care, and this sometimes happens suddenly.

To all of you, and anyone I’ve missed, thank you so much for your support!