Heather Moore is regional manager for KidsPeace Foster Care in southeast Pennsylvania and a foster parent; Megan Craig is a foster parent based in Doylestown, PA.
In the first of their Foster Talk discussions, they explain why they believe in foster care and want to share their experience.
As an adoptive parent of two young men (now 18 and 20), I have a passion for supporting foster families and teaching them the skills I have learned as they navigate the challenging journey of foster care. I also have over 20 years of experience working with traumatized children and their parents.
Foster care is full of highs and lows and it is important to me that foster parents are supported and provided with the skills they need to be successful. The highs can include being an agent of change, watching a child overcome their challenges to reach their full potential thanks in part to your support. These challenges can be both physical and emotional, and finding the most appropriate services and treatment is critical to the child’s success.
The lows can include parenting a child who is not responding to traditional treatment. As both a foster parent and foster care professional, I hope I can support those families in “thinking out of the box” to help their child, just like I had to do to help mine. Parenting a traumatized child can be one of the toughest life challenges because you are dealing with behavior and emotions that stem from the actions of others, and you may not always know that causeand how to help the child.
It is my hope that with this blog I can share the life lessons I have learned as both a foster and adoptive parent and through my work experience working with traumatized children and their families.
Often people wonder how our family chose to get involved in foster care. It’s probably the number one question we get asked — and I still don’t really have a good answer.
While this decision to foster is most definitely a family decision, it really started because I initially felt the tug on my heart to help children who needed a little extra love in a difficult time. For about a month, I read anything related to foster care, joined a few support groups on Facebook, and followed others who fostered on Instagram in hopes to learn more about what our life might be like if my family and I opened our home to a child in need. It was in September of 2016 when my husband and I shared our desire to become foster parents; eight months later we were approved and welcomed our first placement.
My most favorite way to learn more about foster care is meeting others in my shoes and hearing their stories. It can be very isolating and lonely living in the world of foster care, as there are so many different experiences and emotions not typical to mainstream suburbia. I have found myself get so close to other people in the foster care world simply because they “get it.” But the rush and busyness of “life” complicated by squeezing in visits with the biological family, caseworkers, or doctors prevents regular in person gatherings that I find so helpful.
I have found social media and online blogs/podcasts to be some of the most useful and practical ways to navigate my way as a foster mom. When sharing my story with KidsPeace and talking about the big role the internet can play in supporting a foster parent, someone suggested we create a blog that would bring two perspectives to a topic, the foster parent (me!) and the professional (that’s Heather). Brilliant!
So, here we are!! A blog for others in the foster care world wanting to learn more or simply wanting to compare notes. Welcome!