At House of New Hope, every foster child receives the "Ohio Foster Youth Handbook." This publication explains foster care and a foster child's rights. It's a short read, but well worth a few minutes to acquaint yourself.
Disrupting a foster child's placement tears great holes in the fabric of their souls... causing walls of mistrust and worthlessness to isolate and eventually dim their inner light. They need foster parents that will stand with them through their recurring bouts of terror, anxiety, depression and detachment.
House of New Hope is committed to providing you support during challenging times with your foster children... planning, implementing and re-planning. We will advocate for services and stand by you.... in our attempts to prevent a child from having to move from your home.
Placement disruption is just plain damaging... emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
Letter from Samantha Bourst... House of New Hope Foster Parent... Explaining WHY She Does Foster Caregiving.
I would like to share this ! I think it tells what I believe is the definition of Foster Care and why we as foster parents do fostering!:)
"The call came from a DHS supervisor at midnight: “We have a 3-year old girl at the hospital. Her mom was shot and is not expected to live through the night. Her dad has been arrested. Domestic violence. All clothing was taken by police as evidence so if you could bring a blanket that would be great. Can you come pick her up?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from a CPS worker while I was making dinner: “I just came on the scene to find a 4-year old boy sitting in the back of a police car. His clothing is soaked with urine from his mentally unstable mother; he may have lice, and he is filthy. Can we bring him to your house?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from another county as we were getting ready for bed. “We have a 2-year old who is sound asleep at the DHS office now. She was brought to the ER with an injury. Her mom was so high on drugs she could hardly function. This little girl is adorable. We just need someone who can take her for the night. Could you?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from the placement desk while I was in the middle of a run. “We have a tiny 10-day old baby boy. Things aren’t working out with his current foster home, and we need to move him. Do you have an infant car seat?” 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.'
"My husband and I are biological parents to two young kids, as well as foster parents to a revolving crew of kids under the age of five. A friend, who also fosters, once told me that calls from DHS are like a Create-Your-Own-Adventure Game. Each “yes” takes your family on a wild new adventure you never expected. I always wonder what adventure we are missing out on with the calls we can’t take.
We say yes because these broken babies need a safe place to land. They need a mommy to wrap them in blankets and tuck them in at night. They need a daddy to hoist them up on his shoulders and gallop them around the backyard. They need clothing that fits and food that nourishes. They need to be tickled and trained and taken to the zoo. They need boundaries. They need love.
I have been surprised to find how much we need these little people, too. They are sweet and feisty and stubborn and funny. They keep us on our toes and teach us lessons we need to learn.
People tell me all the time, 'I don’t know how you do it! I could never become a foster parent. It would be too hard to say good-bye to the kids once I’ve gotten attached.' And I get it, I do. I used to say the exact same thing. But now, I wonder what in the world I was thinking. Was I serious? It would be too hard for... me?
Make no mistake. It is hard. There are plenty of days when I feel like I just don’t have it in me to do this. My ideas and energy and patience fall flat. There are endless meetings and appointments and phone calls. There are false accusations and frustrating decisions. Foster parenting can be tough.
And yet these kids are forced to do hard things every single day, through no fault or choice of their own. They are abused and neglected and forced to fend for themselves. They are separated from siblings and shuffled from place to place. Kids in the foster care system have endured more hurt in their short lives than most of us will pause to think about, let alone experience, in our own.
The next phone call will come. And my husband and I will say yes. Not because we are some amazing poster family for foster care. We will say yes because these kids are forced to do hard things. The least we can do is look into their broken eyes and say, 'Yes. I will do hard things with you. I will hold your hand and kiss your head and calm your tantrums. By God’s grace, we will figure this out together.'
When it is time to say good-bye, I will wash their clothes and pack their stuffed animals. I will ache and cry and wish it could be different. But I will never regret saying yes."
Prudent Parenting & Normalcy Standard Training
(Public Law 113-183/House Bill 213/ORC 2151.315(C))
What: This law/rule include requirements for custodial and recommending agencies to promote “normalcy” for youth in foster care so they can more easily participate in age-appropriate social, scholastic and enrichment activities. This is also help build Independent Living skills in youth by teaching them how to make responsible choices, i.e. how to stay safe at the mall alone.
Reasonable and Prudent Parenting standard is the guideline for what is allowed under normalcy. This includes taking into account a few things before allowing a child to engage in an activity:
Why: The goal is to normalize children’s time in foster care and reduce the risks for foster parents and agencies to get “in trouble” for allowing “normal” activities.
How: County agencies have to establish policies and foster parents have to be trained prior to any change in normal practice of obtaining consents.
THE BAD NEWS... As of today, most of the counties that House of New Hope contracts with have not changed their normalcy policies and still require consents for a majority of extracurricular activities. So, it is business as usual until the counties change with the times. Be sure to ask your Clinician whether yopu will need a signed consent BEFORE you change current practice.
POSTED JANUARY 04, 2016, 9:00 AM
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
The yearly “check-up” is the perfect (perhaps only) time to not only see how kids are growing and give any needed shots, but to see how they are doing more generally — and help be sure that they grow into healthy, happy adults. After all, prevention is really what pediatrics is all about.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a checklist for pediatricians called “Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care.” These recommendations, which are updated every few years, are based on the most up-to-date research about the health of children now — and in the future.
While the latest version does include new recommendations for younger children, such as putting fluoride varnish on the teeth of children under 5 and doing a simple test for heart defects on newborns, most of the changes this time around pertain to adolescents. Here’s what the AAP thinks pediatricians should be doing with their pre-teen and teen patients:
If you have questions about these recommendations or anything else that does — or doesn’t — happen at your child’s check-up, talk to your doctor.
A foster child under two years of age or under thirty-five inches in height shall be provided with a full-sized crib which meets the following requirements:
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