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Posts Tagged ‘back-ups’

So I always knew that I had the coolest family and friends. Well, I suspected, now I know. Andrew and I have been haunting the foster blogs pretty regularly and we’ve detected a theme. Apparently not everyone’s family and friends are like —

you are gonna be foster parents? that is so cool, how can we help? no, scratch that, we don’t want to just help, we’d like to be this awesome, amazing support network that is actively involved in the life of the child that finds its way to your home —

Incredibly, that has almost unanimously been the reaction.

We thought long and hard about becoming fosterparents. We discussed it for years, 15 years, I think. It took a lot of time to make the decision, to know it was right. But we also knew that we could never do it alone. We’re big believers in that whole ‘it takes a village’ concept. I think we both believe that if there were more ‘villages’, there would be fewer kids in care and the world would generally just be a better place. Which is why we are doing this – we’ve got a village, ready to go, and we want to share it with a child and a family in need of backup and support.

So, thank you to Andrew-Carrie-fosterwee support village. You know who you are and we appreciate you and we’re gonna appreciate you even more when you are available to babysit.

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So, it is kind of like dating.   We’ve moved from hinting to sweet talking to the full-fledged ask.  Usually starts with a dinner out, then a friendship version of a love note and then, the proposal — just jump in, worst that can happen is that they say no.

Dear Friend or Friends-coupled,

Last time we had dinner (or went to the ballgame or that wild cocktail party)  I mentioned that the agency requires  that we establish a community of people that are willing to support us in our foster parent journey.  The whole ‘it takes a village’ approach made official.  Since we have some family in town but not a ton, we’re also looking to a few of our friends that we love and trust (that would be you) and we are asking if you would be willing to be a ‘back-up’ (that is official foster agency lingo there).

I am sure you are thinking – Ummm, what does back-up mean?  A back-up is someone that is willing to get to know our wee-one and is willing to be involved and engaged in our lives (as you already are and as your schedule allows – you are not required to attend every school play although you will probably want to, I am sure) and would be able to help out in an emergency or make yourself available for a routine babysitting gig.  Being a back-up means you can supervise and watch the foster-wee when we are not present.

Ummm, what do we need to do? is surely your next question. You would to fill out the attached form (it is a little scary how not technically savvy the agency is but you can fill this out with a pen directly on the form).  This form allows the agency to conduct a background check to ensure that you are not a registered sex offender or child abuser in our state.  The most difficult part is remembering your addresses for the last 28 years (yes, 28 YEARS).  You do not need to get fingerprinted but you will need to meet XXXX, our social worker, at some point so she can eyeball you and make sure that you don’t look like an ax murderer, at least.  She’ll also ask you some questions about our relationship with you, your discipline philosophy, whether you actually like kids, etc.

So, let us know if you are in.  If you decide that you just can’t do it, don’t worry – you’ll still be invited to all of the school plays.

Love – C and A

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