Welcome to the sixteenth edition! This newsletter is published by Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS). FAFS’ mission is to provide support, training and advocacy to meet the special needs of foster, adoptive and kinship families, who provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for children in foster care. We hope that you will find this information to be both interesting and informative. To learn more about FAFS, please visit www.fafsonline.org. Have questions or comments? Contact Us
Foster parenting is a 24/7 job with no days off! No wonder foster parents need easy access to support and information on their schedule – not just 9-5. When online support groups started in the early 80s, foster parents discovered a new way to get moral support and advice when they needed it, and the trend continues to grow today.
As you might guess, users say convenience is the best benefit of online support groups for foster parents. With both parents’ and kids’ schedules getting more and more demanding, the ability to get what you need, when you need it, is essential to everyone. More convenient for busy foster parents than traditional support groups with monthly or weekly face-to-face meetings, online support groups offer many other benefits as well. Continue reading
Do you believe in love at first sight? Many people do. In fact, in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll on CBS.com in January 2013, 56% of Americans said they believed. Some may have their doubts, but those who have experienced love at first sight say for certain that it’s real.
Not everyone who falls in love at first sight does it romantically. Parents telling the story of the first time they saw their child often describe their depth of emotion in much the same way as someone might describe the first time they saw their significant other: an overwhelming feeling of destiny or that they would do anything to be with that person and keep them safe from harm.
Foster parents who experience these emotions for a child placed in their home may have a difficult road ahead of them, since the goal of fostering is not adoption but giving children safe and stable places to call home until they can be safely reunited with their parents. However, in some cases, reunification can’t occur, and these children become free for adoption. Continue reading
While foster parents continue to be the safety net for our country’s abused and neglected children, in recent years a significant change has begun to take place. More and more, instead of placing these children in the homes of strangers, caseworkers strive to place them in the homes of relatives or family friends, also known as kinship homes.
This change has resulted in more grandparents raising grandchildren then ever before. In 2012, National KIDS COUNT reported that 4% of all children under the age of 18 in the United States were living in a home where a grandparent was their primary caregiver. This number is likely to rise going forward.
New Jersey follows this trend, with grandparents, aunts and uncles and family friends being approached first to take in at risk children, rather than sending them immediately to foster homes. Kinship caregivers must become licensed, just as foster parents must, to take in children who are in the custody of the State. Continue reading