Episode 26-How To Decide On A New Placement: What We Look At.
When we first started foster parenting, over 6 years ago, we were extra cautious about the kids that we let into our home. We looked into their background to try to ensure that they were a good fit for our home.
Foster kids get a bad wrap.
We’ve found that foster kids get a bad wrap. Many times their backstory is very inaccurate. The bad seems to get inflated, while the good is never told.
When you deal with kids at the therapeutic level of foster care, this is the type of kids that we most often take, they seem to have more of a troubled past.
What do we look for?
Now, there are a few things that we seriously consider when taking new foster kids. One of the things that we consider is whether or not their is a history of the youth being sexually abusive to other kids.
This is something that we do for our home because we have young children, and we don’t want our kids or our other foster kids to be sexually abused. Our first priority is always to keep the children in our home safe.
We also make sure that their is minimal history about being physically abusive to other kids or animals. Like I said earlier, our first priority is to keep our kids and our foster kids safe. So, when there is a history of a foster youth being physically abusive, we don’t take them in our home. In this case we take a look at the history, and we often make exceptions here.
If once or twice they pushed or punched someone, we can work with that. If, on the other hand, they regularly bully siblings, hurt others or animals, or have tried to seriously injure someone with a weapon, we go ahead and pass.
There are places to help kids with seriously troubled pasts.
We always feel bad when we don’t accept kids in our home for any reason. But, we understand that there are places that are a perfect fit for these kids. There are older couples with no kids at home, and there are residential treatment centers. In fact, when Deb and I are empty nesters, we would like to help some of these kids that could otherwise be a threat to our own kids.
What do we ignore?
Some of the issues that we ignore are: being abused, regular school truancy, substance abuse and addiction, defiance and disrespect. We also pay little attention to problems in former foster homes.
We understand that these could be some serious issues, but we also feel that it is important that these kids get a clean slate.
We also have had kids that on paper looked like they would be super tough, but they are awesome and relatively easy. On the other hand, we have also had kids that looked like angels on paper, but they gave us a run for our money.
How does this work?
We have structures in place from day one. We let our new foster kids know what is we expect and what they can expect from us. We don’t try to lay down the law from day one; we simply let them know what to expect.
We also monitor our kids and our foster kids. Especially in the beginning, we do our best to know where people are, what they should be doing, and what they are actually doing.
Bottom line is…
We try to help all the kids that we can. We know our home, our strengths, and our weaknesses, and we try to help in any way that we can. Our agency knows what types of things we look our for and they respect that.
Because of our rather lax standards when it comes to taking foster kids, we have been able to help kids that no one else wanted to take a chance on.
Call to Action!
- Decide where you draw the line when it comes to foster kid back stories.
- Define your big picture.
- Our’s is that every kid gets a clean slate when they enter our house.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week…
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Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents