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Letter: Appreciate a foster family this month
To the editor:
It is Foster Family Month in British Columbia. Foster homes are a vital part of our community. Foster Families are very special people who provide temporary care for children, in a warm, loving, family environment, for a limited amount of time, until the children can return home. Foster families open their homes and their hearts to children of all ages.
Children come into their homes needing a safe place, to be cared for and accepted for who they are. Some children stay a few days, while others may stay longer. Some children are even adopted by their foster family and others remain in close contact even after they return home.
Foster parents are special people. They care for children with a wide array of behaviours and challenges. They work as part of a team with a large number of professionals, counsellors and social workers.
Everyone watches how they care for the children, and sometimes, without understanding the circumstances, make judgments. Foster parents can’t tell you anything about the child, his background or why he behaves that way. Confidentiality is taken very seriously!
Many of the children have special needs: some you can see, some you can’t. Foster parents take a large number of courses and workshops to enhance their skills and knowledge. They respect a child’s cultural heritage and encourage the children to maintain ties with their culture and their extended family.
To be a foster parent, you must have a great deal of patience and a good sense of humour. You’ll need both! It is often a challenging job, but very rewarding. If you know someone who is a foster parent, let them know how special they are.
I have been privileged to work with Foster Parents for many years and I think every one of them is terrific!
Okanagan Foster Parents Association,