KINDRED FAMILY FOCUS The Myths of Foster Care We sat down with Bridget Leonard, an Operations Director with Kindred Family Focus, and discussed some of the most common questions when it comes to Foster Care. Foster care seems to be a mystery to many people, with quite a few myths around what foster care actually is. What do you think of that? I think there are so many misperceptions about foster care. It’s important to dispel some of them. For instance, unless you are designated as an emergency foster home, you will not have kids dropped off at your home at any hour of the day or night. You are presented with information about a child or children, and you can say yes or no. What if you don’t want to say goodbye to a child you’ve been caring for? What I hear most from potential foster parents is, “I don’t know if I could give them back.” This is a hard one. Somehow, you do. You grieve, and you heal. Sometimes it’s not a forever goodbye and the foster parent stays in touch with the youth and the youth’s family. What other challenges come up frequently when speaking to potential foster parents? Another common question I get from potential foster parents is, “Do I treat them like my normal kids?” If by this they mean, you love them, teach them, nurture them, yes. But, because of the trauma, neglect, abuse and/or grief they have experienced, you must be open to altering your parenting approaches. It’s a process to get to know a child. What are some things potential foster parents would need to pay close attention to? Usually, discipline techniques that work for birth kids don’t work for kids in foster care. Why? There’s already a relationship with birth kids. There’s a trust, a knowing of what’s coming. A son or daughter knows what a certain tone of voice means, when a parent means business, etc. A foster child may be used to acting as the parent, relying only on themselves, may have trouble trusting anyone. It’s pretty hard to focus on a math test when you’ve been worried about where you would get food or who would be in your house when you got home after school, and in what condition. YOU GAVE TO THE MAX! Thank you for your support on Give to the Max Day 2018! Our donors are helping foster parents DO MORE for the kids in their care by supporting Kindred CARES! On Thursday, November 15, Kindred raised $3,030 through our Give to the Max Day campaign and secured $3,000 in matching funds for a total of $6,030 — exceeding our goal of $5,000! Give to the Max Day brought in new donors, had support from KFF and Nexus corporate staff, and scored some larger gifts than in the past. 21 | NOV/DEC 2018 Bridget Leonard, Operations Director with Kindred Family Focus SUPPORTING THE CAUSE Our recent partnership with Mathew Harrold at Lamar Advertising is making a world of a difference in the Duluth, Minnesota area. This partnership allowed Kindred Family Focus to have a recruitment billboard for foster and adoptive parents!
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