The opioid epidemic is pushing more and more children into foster care, as their parents are unfit to care for them while they are bound tightly by the grips of addiction. Foster children who were born into a family with addicted parents have likely seen the unthinkable, have been forced to mature far too quickly, and have unique experiences that set them apart from other foster children. The Washington Post reports that nearly every state in the nation has seen a rise in the number of children being put into foster care directly related to opioid addiction as their parents are deemed unfit to care for their children. Perhaps the child you are fostering is an infant who was born addicted to opioids or they are an older child who has seen first hand the detrimental effects opioids can reap upon a family. Regardless of the circumstances, there are important
It may seem strange that children have to deal with phobias at such a tender age, but according to research, specific phobias already surface from age seven and social phobias from adolescence. There are many reasons for children to develop a phobia, whether it’s a rational fear of something or apparently irrational. Sometimes the fear might be due to a vulnerable situation, and sometimes the fear is picked up from the fears of others. Those who have a vulnerable background tend to display fears and anxieties, along with depression and other physical signs of their upbringing. For caregivers, dealing with these fears can feel somewhat challenging. Understand The Difference Between Fears, Worries, and PhobiasIt’s perfectly normal for children to have slight worries or fears about certain things or events, however, when the reaction becomes severe and irrational, this is when it’s classified as anxiety. For children, anxiety can be disabling and to a certain degree, cause
Regardless of whether you are adopting a foster child currently under your care, or you are receiving an adoptive placement for a child that is staying in another foster home, the transition from fostering to adoption is tough. There are emotional, financial, and physical impacts. Here is an in-depth look at the process of transitioning from fostering to adoption. Explaining FosteringFoster care is a living arrangement for children who have been abused or neglected and need a safe place to live. Often times, their parents are unable to take care of them due to illness, homelessness, or substance abuse. Explaining AdoptionAdoption occurs when a child moves into a new home with a new family. The new parents becomes responsible for the child and assume the parental rights like the child’s biological parents. Starting The ProcessYou can start the process by choosing an adoption method. You can check with a public adoption agency. Check
Fostering is a tough decision to make; it brings with it joys and trials like any kind of parenting holds. While vastly rewarding, it holds certain challenges. The following are seven resources every foster parent should have.A Fostering MentorWhen you know someone who has already journeyed the path of fostering and/or adoption, that person can be an amazing resource for foster parents. Parenting, in and of itself, is a challenge. For new parents, knowing whether or not a behavior or quirk in personality is normal can be tricky. This is particularly true in foster parenting. Attachment in fostering can appear quite different than in those traditional parenting scenarios. When experiencing these differences, they can be worrisome or confusing. Having a mentor in your life, someone of whom you can make queries known or to whom you can voice concerns is vastly helpful. A mentor can assuage your fears and reassure
Parenting By The Infinite NumbersThere are 250 babies born every minute. That means each year there are at least 150 million new parents trying to decipher how to best raise theirs. Move in close to any group of new moms and dads, and you are sure to hear lots of advice being shared and criticism of “other parents”. It’s true that new parents tend to rigorously study trends and research on how best to raise kids, and that’s a good thing. But it’s also important to acknowledge that, although you believe in your approach to proper parenting, it doesn’t mean the way someone else handles their kids is necessarily wrong. A parenting expert on every cornerThere are so many experts categorizing parenting styles and giving advice on how to raise kids, it can be dizzying. And they are often contradictory. The authoritarian parent, one of the four types of parents as defined by
Becoming a foster parent is one of the biggest and most rewarding decisions you can ever make in life. While you do receive supplemental income from fostering children, your family may be eligible for additional benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for people with serious illnesses, or dependent family members of those with disabilities. There are a few ways children in foster care could be eligible for aid. If Your Foster Child Has a Disability Social Security disability benefits are available to people of all ages. Children will qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits. SSI is only awarded to families in severe financial need, so if you or your spouse has a moderate income, your foster child will not be eligible for SSI benefits. For example, a single parent cannot earn more than $38,000 per year before taxes while having a child qualify for SSI.
We all have the power to help children in foster care and families hoping to adopt, and it starts with our wallets. Giving back to foster care and adoption-related causes can be extra rewarding when you do so by shopping at these small businesses: Feather Refuge When you purchase a shirt from this adoptive parent’s shop, you can help fund the building of an orphanage and foster care and adoption services at Beech Acres parenting center Natalie Brenner Shop Adoptive mom Natalie Brenner’s shirts and prints support A Family for Every Child, Together We Rise, and Embrace Oregon. She has also funded some of her own adoptions with her shop sales. Just Really Joseph When she couldn’t find a relatable story about international adoption, Kayla Craig took matters into her own hands and turned her son Joseph’s adoption journey into a children’s book. Every penny of the proceeds from Just
At A Family For Every Child we believe that every child deserves a family. We believe that every child should have the chance to live their best life. Check out this video about what drives all of us at AFFEC. In our 12 years as an organization, AFFEC has placed over 6,000 children into forever families. We will be here until every child is loved, until every child has a best friend, until every child has a family. Together with you, we can make a change! Thank you so much to Tim Garner who made this incredible video!We could not do it without our amazing community and supporters. You can help in so many different ways, and from anywhere. Whether it is volunteering or donating, you can make a difference in the lives of these amazing children. Will you join us in our mission to find
Photo courtesy of Mallory Williams We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mallory Williams, who runs the Instagram account @five_2_and_under, and is a mom to Chase and Dylan, who she fostered before adopting, and triplets Avery. Emery, and Bradley. AFFEC: What influenced your decision to become a foster parent? MW: Since my husband and I got together we’ve always had the dream of adopting. As a drug & alcohol therapist in a correctional setting, I witnessed firsthand some of the hardships that these children have to go through. We also thought it would be great to help the children in our immediate area, giving them the best life that they could have. AFFEC: What are some challenges/rewards of being a foster parent? MW: Some of the challenges we faced included the altering of our schedules on a whim, the unknown and the difficulties with the court
While it would be amazing if everyone could foster or adopt children, that just isn’t possible. But just because you cannot personally take in a child, it does not mean that you are powerless to help children in foster care. There are many opportunities for you to get involved. Here are a few to get you started: 1.Become a CASA volunteer Court-appointed special advocates represent foster care children in court after getting to know them. They help ensure that the child’s needs are met and that they are placed in the best possible homes. To learn more about how you can fill this very important role, visit the CASA website. 2. Volunteer with AFFEC AFFEC has a variety of volunteer positions in event planning, marketing, fundraising, mentoring and more. Volunteers can be local or remote and volunteer regularly or on an as-needed basis. If you are interested, apply here. 3.