Consider this quote by Dan and Chip Heath: “What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.” What are some things that come to mind about supporting families that may be clear to “foster care folks” like yourself, but may be unclear and overwhelming to a person who has had minimal or no experience with foster care or with raising children from hard places?
The main thing I see come up when we encourage people to support and come around foster families is they feel like they have to do something «huge» or «overwhelming» when really mowing the lawn, providing a meal, becoming a babysitter, or even driving to visits or a court date is a huge support
I’ve spoken to prospective foster parents who have been rejected by other agencies. They took it as a personal rejection and were about to give up. When I took the time to explain why they weren’t accepted, explaining how decisions are made in the best interest both of children and their family. They saw the decision as something that was not against them but for them.
In a particular situation, an individual had just had an out of state move. She believed she was being rejected because she was a young single woman. I explained why we ask families to take time after a major life change and the importance of building support systems in a new community. She told me she was about to give up trying to foster because she kept feeling rejected, but after understanding the «why», she now can actively wait and hope for the future.
Amanda, I think you have done an awesome job having ‘courage conversations’ with people who are hurt. This makes me think of the bus analogy that Lesli Reece used, maybe being a foster parent is not the right seat on the bus, but having other ways to get involved that are just as valued and celebrated could be awesome.
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