National Foster Care Month – Personal Experience (Part Three)
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Originally posted – 5/19/2020
In honor of National Foster Care Month, EVOLVE Family Services wanted to honor some of our amazing foster care providers. We asked a few of our providers to answer questions about their experience with foster care so far, what they have learned, and what they want prospective foster parents to know before beginning the process.
Our foster care team interviewed Geraldine Reeves about her journey as an EVOLVE foster parent.
Question 1: Can you share a little bit about your foster care journey, including how long you have been providing care and if you are a relative or traditional provider?
“I have been on the foster care journey for almost two years. It was an uphill battle for me, but I was asked to take placement of my grandchildren after they were placed with a traditional family. There were many barriers in place that I had to tackle in order to be licensed. I have now been licensed for two months, and my grandchildren were placed in my home three weeks ago.”
Question 2: What has been the most rewarding part of being a foster parent?
“The reward right now is knowing that all my dedication paid off and my grandchildren can stay close with their biological family.”
Question 3: What have been some unexpected challenges while providing care?
“It is a huge unexpected challenge schooling from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I haven’t been in school for 30 years nor did we have technology like today. The importance of school has put some pressure on me to figure this out so my grandchildren can stay on top of their educational needs.”
Question 4: What is something you have learned while providing care?
“I have learned to be flexible in my parenting. What works for one child does not necessarily work for the other child.”
Question 5: What are the ways you have continued to practice self-care while providing care?
“I love to cook; it is therapeutic for me. The cherry on top is that my grandchildren love to eat, so it is a win-win for all of us.”
Question 6: If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing when you started this journey, what would it be?
“I would tell myself not to have timing expectations. I got frustrated several times because I didn’t know when I was going to be licensed. In my head it was only going to take a few months.”
Question 7: Anything else you feel would be helpful for prospective foster parents to know?
“I think it is important for future foster parents to know that there are many individuals you must collaborate with throughout the process. I had no idea that so many people were involved and able to offer support.”
Question 8: What resources have you found most helpful during the COVID-19 situation and what additional support would be helpful?
“Access to technology has been huge during this time. It has been really helpful that technology allows the children to continue completing their schoolwork, accessing therapy, and connecting with different services.”