Episode 17: The Foster Journey Part 4: Process and Paperwork

March 5, 2020

Listen to Veronica as she shares about her life caring for her six younger siblings at the age of thirteen… until her life drastically changed on her 14th birthday. Her mother went on the run with Veronica and her siblings, living in a tent and barely surviving, until the Department of Social Services removed them from their mother’s care. For the next few years she experienced kinship care, various foster families, potential adoptive families, and other placements that had a profound impact on her.

Veronica had various people who supported her and gave her a voice. From her foster mother to her Guardian Ad Litem. But Veronica’s life was still filled with uncertainty and struggles, often her only comfort found by sleeping in the same room as her younger brother. She fought hard for her and her brother to be adopted together, but they continued to face challenges that threatened Veronica’s hopes.

Join us in listening to Veronica share openly and honestly about the struggles found within foster care, the significance of giving children in foster care a voice, and ultimately the unconditional love of a forever family.

Then, listen as Jailynn Smiley shares some practical tips about the process and paperwork that comes with foster care and adoption. She answers some of the biggest questions and concerns, such as how clean your house actually needs to be before a home visit, and how to survive the sometimes overwhelming paperwork.

Jailynn brings over 20 years of experience to the conversation and her words will equip anyone with the tools they need to more efficiently and peacefully navigate the logistics of engaging in foster care.

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Key Quote / Takeaway:

"I just wanted someone who loved me unconditionally, but more than everybody else was. Um, someone who is going to stay there and be there." - Veronica Hanks

Meet Our Guests

Veronica Hanks

Veronica is 23 years old, loves to be outdoors, read, hunt, and even ride horses. Her desire is to be the support for a child that she needed growing up and to educate people about the needs within foster care and the negative connotations that foster care can have for some people. She uses her voice that once fought for her brother to fight for children who are still in foster care or for young adults who have aged out of foster care. Her hope is to use her story and her life to make a difference in the lives of children in foster care.

Jailynn Smiley

Jailynn Smiley is no stranger to Foster Care & Adoption having spent 26 years as a Foster/Adopt Family Recruiter in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Jailynn has worked for several Child Placing Agencies and currently serves as the Director of Family Recruitment for CK Family Services. Jailynn attended the University of North Texas , where she majored in Radio & TV Broadcasting. Jailynn interned at KKDA (K104FM) Radio in Dallas and was later hired as a News Anchor/Reporter. After working in broadcasting for a number of years, Jailynn was recruited to work for Child Protective Services in the area of Recruitment. Jailynn's skills were put to good use in finding homes for children in need, and she found a passion for working with foster and adoptive families. Jailynn has worked in the area of foster and adoptive parent recruitment over the past 20 years and joined the Covenant Kids team as a Family Recruitment Specialist in 2010. Jailynn enjoys meeting and spending time with families who have a desire to serve children in foster care and getting the families started on the journey.