What do the following people have in common? Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Cher, Louis Armstrong, Art Linkletter, James Dean, Dave Thomas, Sam Goldwyn, Vidal Sassoon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Andrew Jackson. All of these famous and successful people were in foster care.
We have them in our community – foster parents who open their homes and their hearts to children and youth in need of a safe place to live. They provide a warm, loving, and protective family environment. Some children stay a few days, while others may stay for longer periods of time.
Foster parents work as a team with the social workers, the child’s family, teachers, doctors, therapists and counsellors. Many of the children have special needs. Foster parents take courses and workshops to enhance their skills and abilities. They respect a child’s cultural heritage and encourage them to maintain ties with their ethnicity and their extended family.
Foster parents are ordinary people who offer their hearts and homes to foster children of all ages.
In the process, foster parents truly do become extraordinary – caring, kind-hearted, sharing, flexible, understanding, never-give-up, patient, know how to juggle time and possess a sense of humor. They learn to love and let go, but never forgetting the child that took refuge in their home. Fostering is challenging as well as gratifying, learning to cope with a wide variety of behaviours along with the many individual needs.
A heartfelt thank you to all foster parents – you truly are a priceless resource in our communities. You give our foster children an opportunity to become contributing members of society.
Interested in fostering? Call Judy Flintoff at (250) 253-4499.
October is Foster Family Appreciation month in B.C. If you know someone who is a foster parent, let them know they are valued and appreciated.