This week marked week 3 out of a total of 5 Foster Parent training sessions. It’s starting to feel more real with each week that passes. It feels challenging to prepare much more than just digesting all the information we are being exposed to because we have no clue how long a child will come into our home. It could be months or even years before an infant/toddler comes through that is in need of a more adoptive home than foster home or we could get a call the day after our approval. We want to feel ready but we aren’t sure what we are getting ready for. Most likely we will just learn as we go… just like we have in our parenting journey with our three biological kids.
This week’s content was very helpful! We learned about a very useful parenting technique here. This video outlines the concept of collaborative problem solving – the concept is simple but really helpful. One way we’ve been trying to prepare is by working to refine our current parenting. Many of the ideas about parenting we’ve learned about we already do but we definitely have some areas for improvement. We want to be ready to respond peacefully even when we are stressed (and most parents realize this can be hard to accomplish all the time).
We also watched this video explaining how our brains work when we feel overwhelmed. When we are stressed our “dog barks” as parents (and spouses because we learned this in marriage counseling too!) we have to connect emotionally first and calm the barking dog. Once we are calm we can enlist the help of the “wise owl” to problem solve our situation. We immediately talked about this with out kids because just acknowledging this truth is a relationship game changer!
The last really difficult to watch video we saw was Removed. It’s a great way to help us grow empathy for kids in the foster care system go through. It’s tough stuff.
I also read this week Till The End of June, which I posted about on Instagram, this book was a very helpful read. It’s not easy to read these stories but it looks at a lot of different stories and takes into count the points-of-view of everyone involved in the foster care system. The book helped illuminate some of the short-comings of the system, help me better understand what foster kids and their families endure, and also helped point out potential issues we may face in our journey. great book.
Here are a few facts I learned at training, that where surprising to me!
- Being a Foster Parent/ Child is confidential, we are not actually supposed to share that the child is our “foster child” once they are in our care, not even with their doctor
- The details around the child/birth families life are also confidential
- Chesterfield frowns on any photos being posted online of your foster kids, so no black, blue or pink hearts online for us
- There are 100 foster kids in care for Chesterfield and only 50 foster parents, that means many hard to place teens are in group homes or in therapeutic care through another agency
There’s a little sneak peak into what we are learning! Along with these in-person classes are online classes and lots of forms, so it’s a lot to digest for sure. Keep on praying we have peace and the right placement when the time comes.