Real Lives Of Foster Families

What are the real challenges & rewards of being a foster family?

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Sal Candelora is a foster parent.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Pauline Washington is a foster parent living in Windsor.
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Ken Mysogland, Director of Foster Care and Adoption Services, Connecticut State Department of Children and Family Services.
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Deb Candelora is the the liaison for the Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents and the Meriden DCF.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Real Lives Of Foster Families
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Real Lives Of Foster Families

 

When you realize the challenges faced by foster parents, you want to call them saints, but most of the reject that label. They say they're just doing something that needs doing. They're not saints or angels. In fact, they screw up sometimes and need help from others. 

It's also not fair to the kids, they say, because it makes it sound like only a saint would take foster children -- as if they're an unbearable burden.  Most foster parents say they do it because hey love it.
 
On our show today, we'll be letting foster parts tell their own stories and maybe run through some dos and don't for the rest of us. For example, it's really bad to bad mouth the birth parent around the child. A foster kid in a new home has enough things going on without hearing you say, "Oh, is is mom a drug addict?" 
 
That and so much more on today's show.
 
Leave your comments below, email us colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

EMAILS FROM TOM:

these people are too crunchy. For the most part, the birth parents are dirtbags. The dpt bends over for them. parents first, kids second. It's all about the parents. Don;t let them fool you. Ask them how many are reunified, and then removed again. The kids have one foot in the good world and one foot in chris powell's 'slob culture' world with the birth parents. Do you know how difficult it is to have your kids removed? It's HARD. You have to work at having the state take your kids. Now they want to be a blended family. screw that. Kids that are 6,7,8 can't process that kind of relationship, multiple mommies, and daddies. Kids don't have the tools to figure out that stuff. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. If you remove the kids from dirtbag parents, it's a good guess that their relatives are dirt bags. Dirtbag, deadbeat parents, don't usually have uncles that are hedge fund managers.

EMAIL FROM JAMIE:

Foster parents have so much to do to take care of the foster children, especially on the first few days or weeks. What kind of programs are in place for those that want to help equip families with toys, clothes, food, or anything else that is needed?

EMAIL FROM GENESE:

I called in toward the end of your show today, but wasn’t able to get on to add to the conversation. Children In Placement (CIP), a 501 (c)3 nonprofit, is the Connecticut affiliate of National CASA. CIP trains community volunteers to represent the best interests of children in abuse and neglect proceedings in juvenile and probate courts throughout CT. We are appointed by the court to conduct an independent investigation and make recommendations to the judge. Our volunteers are appointed to one family in order to gain an intimate knowledge of the child and family. Their responsibilities include learning the family dynamic, identifying services for both the children and parents/ guardians, and to make recommendations to the judge regarding permanency and placement. We frequently work with the Department of Children and Families, foster parents, and community service providers.

Most recently, CIP has implemented a training to better prepare youth for “aging out” of the foster care system. This strength based training model helps youth identify their inner assets and empowers them to become co-authors in their future. About 15% of children leave DCF because they “age out”. This is one of the highest rates in the country. I’d love the opportunity to talk further about our volunteer and training programs, as well as, our youth empowerment program. CIP’s mission, in conjunction with National CASA, is to help children into safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible.

May is National Foster Care Month and seems like a fitting time to continue this conversation.