Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Facts: There are over 200 children in Washtenaw County in foster care. Unfortunately, Washtenaw County has only a fraction of the needed licensed foster homes
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Message: Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. When injustice crosses our path, we can choose to look away and ignore it, in order to maintain artificial reality, or we can look it straight in the eye without flinching and confront it. Ultimately we decide.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Message cont. : Washtenaw County, injustice is crossing our path. We can choose to stop ignoring and start doing something. Maybe we are too selfish to be a heroes, or maybe we just need to confront it with knowledge. Are we ready for reality or will we ignore it?
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Need: More licensed foster homes with an urgent need for more.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The What? Foster Care is providing a temporary, safe home for children who have been removed by the state from their own homes because of abuse, neglect, death or incarceration of a parent, or drug use in the home.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The What? cont. By simply living life and welcoming the child into their homes, foster parents become heroes . By providing them with stability, affection, consistency, and nurturing, the children’s hearts begin to heal.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The What? cont. Foster care is temporary; it is not meant to be forever. Children usually continue to visit their own families until they may be reunited. While the child is out of the home, Social Services is working to reconciliation for the child and parents.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Chidren
Children enter foster care because of neglect , abuse , a family crisis, or death or incarceration of the parent.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Need:
More licensed foster homes to send these displaced children to .
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power Who can be a foster parent?
(CASE STUDY OF FOSTER PARENT HERE)
Be 18 years of age or older.
Be of good moral character.
Be willing to provide care for children who are in foster care.
Understand the care which must be provided to the children, or express a willingness to learn how to provide that care.
Have enough time to provide care and supervision for the children.
Have a specific source of income, and be capable of managing that income, to meet the needs of the family.
Be of such physical, mental, and emotional health to be able to properly care for the children.
Be able to assure the proper care and safety of children.
Be willing to comply with the licensing rules.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The How? Step 1: Potential Foster Parent attends Orientation which is 3 hours long. Step 2: Foster Parent attends PRIDE (1,2,3,4 & 6) Training.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The How? Step 3: Foster Parent completes paperwork including initial home study packet. Step 4: Judson Center does Home Assessment.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs
Why do kids get put in foster care?
Because they have been victims of child abuse or neglect. This can be neglect such as environmental, educational and medical. Some have been abandoned; some live in homes without heat or water, or electricity. Others have experienced physical, sexual or psychological abuse.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 2. Where does the child go if they are not in a foster-home? They go to either temporary homes, shelters or to a residential facility.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 3. How long will it take to become licensed? The entire process can take a couple months to six months or even a year but usually not that long. It depends on how fast the FP can get the paperwork done and how quickly BCAL can turn things over
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 4. How much does it cost to be a foster parent? The answer there is not an up front fee for becoming a foster parent. is $10.00 for the local police clearance. Sometime if they don’t have a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector then they will have to purchase those.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 5. How long will the children be in my home? On average usually any where from six months to a year.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 6. How are families matched with children? On their license families can preference gender, sex, age, race, how many children they prefer and what types of behaviors they are willing to expect such as if a child has severe medical needs or an infant that was diagnosed as fetal alcohol. There are a list of behaviors or specifics and they can check whether or not they would be willing to care for a child with that specific behavior or need. When I get a call about a child that needs a home I ask specifics about the child and then try to best match a child to a foster home based on the descriptions of the child and the foster homes preferences.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 7. Will I meet the children/child before I commit? Most often no, unfortunately when we get a call from CPS (child protective services) they need a home either that day, that night or the following day. If a child is being removed from another foster home sometimes we are able to give the other foster home a chance to meet the child and for them to get acquainted with the child on day or weekend visits before the child is permanently placed in their home.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 8. Will CPS be in my home a lot to check on the child? Once the child is placed in a foster home they are given a case manager. That case manager sees the child twice a month for the first month and then once a month the rest of the time the child is in the foster home. The CPS worker isn’t usually involved once a child is placed in home. A child also has an attorney that visits usually once before the next court hearing.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 9. Once I have a foster-child is there any red-tape or do I treat them the same as my own child? There is of course the rule of no corporal punishment which also pertains to biological children in the home. It’s not a problem for the child to visit neighbors or relatives but for anyone that might watch the child on a frequent basis we ask that they complete a alternate care packet. This requires the “babysitter” to sign our confidentiality, discipline and safe sleep agreement and they also have to fill out two forms in order for us to complete back ground checks and they have to go to their local police station and ask that they get a police clearance. The alternate caregiver has to be someone over the age of 18 or it can be a license daycare in which we would just need the name and address of the day care provider.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 10. Will I have to meet/ spend time with the child’s birth parents? Foster parents aren’t required to spend time but they will most likely see the foster parents when they drop the child off for supervised visits or maybe even unsupervised visits. It kind of depends on the situation but we don’t require the birth parents and foster parents to spend time together. Usually the birth parent doesn’t have the foster parents address or phone number etc.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The FAQs 11. What kind of support is there for foster parents? There is a local support group in Washtenaw County. There is almost like an online support group. There are trainings that are provided and agency’s also try to provide fun activities through out the year where the foster parents can drop the kids off and run errands or just have a break for a couple of hours.
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The Call to Action What are you gonna do with reality ?
Ignorance is Bliss. but knowledge is power The final question: ARE YOU TOO busy TO BE A HERO?