Foster parents not only provide a safe place for state wards, but they also can help parents as they learn how to handle children as well as manage their own lives.
The mother’s boyfriend had physically abused the baby girl, and mom was dealing with substance abuse. The court outlined changes mom needed to make in her life, but after a year, she hadn’t followed through on them. Worst of all, she remained with her abusive boyfriend.
The court moved to make the child available for adoption. The thought of losing her baby induced a heavy dose of reality to mom. She changed her focus in life and started following the steps necessary to get her little girl back. The child’s foster parents encouraged mom and provided as much support as they could along the way. Mom completed a treatment program, found housing and passed all drug tests. She also ended her relationship with the boyfriend.
Still, the time it had taken for mom to respond was too long and the county attorney filed to terminate her parental rights. But, mom continued to work hard to earn the case manager’s trust. Eventually, monitored visits were approved.
Three months later, the county attorney withdrew the termination motion, and the case manager requested that mom be allowed to have overnight visits. After two months, and mom’s improved response, the case manager asked the court to allow the child to return home. Mom prepared a safety plan and described how she would continue to work and attend school with support from the foster parents. The motion to terminate her rights was dropped.
At the next court hearing, after the judge reminded mom of all that she had accomplished, her daughter was then returned to her.
Throughout the process, the foster parents stood by the child and the mother, even to the point of providing support for mom after her daughter left their care. To this day, they remain available to the little girl, and especially to her mother. Foster parents do so much for the children in their care, but they also can play a role in reuniting families.
If you’re interested in providing foster care, call 1-800-7PARENT (7368).