A follow up from “new parents on the block”
May 16, 2016
Last summer we shared the story of Sherri Davenport and her husband who had just recently become foster parents. In that post, Sherri described what it was like when their nine-year-old foster son (who we’ll call Peter) arrived at their home,
“It just worked. I can’t really explain it. It’s only been two weeks but it sure has been interesting, to say the least. Now, has everything stayed perfect? Not by a long shot. Do we think we made a mistake by becoming resource parents? Nope, not at all. You see, all of the fear and anxiety, in hindsight, is now trumped by the fact that this little guy just needed a safe place to call home.”
We recently checked in with Sherri and she reports back to us that being foster parents is the most challenging thing that she and her husband have had to do in their lives, but that the reward is huge. “Being able to see the growth and change happen with this little boy has been inspirational,” Sherri says.
It’s not uncommon for foster parents like the Davenports to feel overwhelmed by the experience of fostering a child like “Peter.” The children we place have had the hardest time due to behavioral or medical issues, multiple placements within the foster care system, traumatic experiences, or their advanced age. They need a higher level of care and attention. That’s why UMFS offers resources to support foster parents every step of the way.
Before a placement, we address the issues that may be holding a prospective family back from making a decision and help them to overcome their concerns. We also go to great lengths to assure the family is a good match for the child, especially one who has already experienced rejection.
Other features of this special program include:
- Hands-on experiential foster parent training.
- Additional strategies individualized for each foster child’s needs.
- Counseling in techniques to deal with trauma and other healing.
- Collaboration with a multi-disciplinary treatment team.
- 24-hour on-call support.
- Reliable respite when caregivers need a break.
- Support groups in the local community.
You can find more information about how UMFS supports foster parents on our website here.