LOVELAND, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--People interested in exploring fostering have a new opportunity to gain insight, inspiration and real-life perspectives as America’s Kids Belong launches a series of free, nationwide Fostering Information Panels.
Each panel features seasoned foster parents, former foster youth and child-welfare professionals who share real-life experiences along with a healthy dose of inspiration.
- Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET − Become A Foster Parent: The Licensing Process Through Your First Placement
- Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET − How To Thrive As A Foster Parent
- Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET − What Does It Look Like to Care For The Highest Needs In Foster Care?
- Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. ET − What Does It Mean To Engage Foster Care?
To register visit americaskidsbelong.org.
Panel 1: What It Means To Engage Foster Care
Moderated by Founder Brian Mavis, the first panel, on August 15, featured child welfare experts, active foster and adoptive parents, and a U.S. Navy officer who was a foster youth. (Watch it on-demand at americaskidsbelong.org.)
“You hear about homelessness, human trafficking and other social wounds, but you don’t hear about foster care [the origin of many],” Mavis said. “I want to emphasize that when you step into foster care, you are going upstream; you’re helping kids not experience more trauma.”
From this perspective, panelists shared insight to encourage prospective foster parents to take the next step. Scott and Bethany Telle, active foster parents, acknowledged fear of the unknown but reminded participants that becoming licensed does not mean saying yes to every placement.
Referencing concerns about getting too attached and the effect on children already in the home, foster/adoptive mom Courtney Williams said, “[Fostering] has grown our children and they still choose it after 12 years.” As for getting attached? “It’s your job to get too attached. That’s what these kids need.”
“Empathy for the child is what makes a good foster parent,” agreed child welfare expert Louise Cooper.
Dairius Kawewehi, former foster youth, summarized: “It’s not providing just a home − a physical structure − but having wholehearted care. A space where the child feels safe.”
To help end the foster care crisis visit americaskidsbelong.org.