This Is Us: Foster Care and Adoption
August 2022 · Forward in Hope, Ministry News
Most people think of foster care when they hear “Saint Francis Ministries.” And that makes sense, especially since it’s one of our most recognizable programs. Yet, with this recognition, comes misperceptions.
Thousands of young people throughout the U.S. wake up in a foster or kinship home on any given day. That’s a lot, and the number needs to go down. The goal of every foster or kinship placement is the eventual return of children to their biological families. Plain and simple. This means that foster care always serves as a last resort, ordered by the court, to keep kids safe.
It’s worth mentioning that we first do everything we can – again, in cooperation with the court and social services – to keep kids out of foster care through programs like Family Centered Treatment, Seeking Safety, and Family Preservation. We know that in most cases, youth function best and are happiest when they live with their birth parents.
Getting a child in foster care back home often requires intensive, family-centered services to begin building a healthy, stable household. We collaborate with community services, the courts, and everyone involved to ensure families have the resources, skills, and connections they need to regain wholeness.
In the meantime, foster families work hard to keep kids healthy and safe. They also love them. Let’s face it, being removed from your home – even if for your own protection – can be traumatic. So, we first try to place children with family members or trusted friends. When that’s not possible, we find them foster parents who will love them, care for them, and patiently help them adjust to their new, temporary situation.
“Foster parents are the cheerleaders for both the children and the bio family. We all win when families can stay connected and supported. Reintegration is our top goal.” Vicki Cain, Director of Foster Care Recruitment and Retention, Kansas
At Saint Francis, we believe strong families make children’s lives better. Every family deserves the opportunity to resolve conflicts, learn healthy parenting skills, enhance communication, and reconnect with each other. Until that can occur safely, foster parents play a vital role in providing for the care and protection of children placed in their homes.
Sometimes, parents prove either unwilling or incapable of doing what they need to do so their children can return home. It’s sad, but the needs of the child must come first. When it’s not in the child’s best interest to return home, the court may sever parental rights and adoption becomes an option.
Most children are adopted by a relative or by a foster family with which they have developed a positive, loving relationship.
Here’s the skinny on a few adoption myths:
Myth: Adoption is expensive.
Truth: Adoption through Saint Francis often results in little to no cost to adoptive parents.
Myth: You must be married and own your own home to adopt.
Truth: Families from a wide variety of living situations and economic backgrounds are eligible to adopt.
Myth: You must make significant changes to your home to adopt.
Truth: Homes are simply assessed for safety and appropriateness.
Myth: Only teenagers and infants are available for adoption.
Truth: The median age for adoptive children is 8.
As you might imagine, it takes lots of resources to properly support foster families and the children in their care. Your financial support makes you our partner in ensuring children in care have everything they need to be healthy, safe, and happy.
Here’s how your donation can help children in foster care:
- Purchase items that enhance their well-being, i.e., bicycles and helmets, athletic equipment, zoo passes, movie tickets, bowling passes, extracurricular school fees, etc.
- Assistance with last-minute expenses, i.e., Christmas or birthday events.
- Hosting continuing education trainings for foster families.
- Sharing the need for more foster and adoptive families.
That last one is the most important. Remember the number of children in foster care placement? That’s why we always need more foster parents – people like you, dedicated to helping children and families heal, grow, and rediscover hope. Learn how you can make the world more welcoming for a child, even if it just means providing brief respite for another foster family. Visit our foster care page.
Or, if you prefer, simply donate. We make it easy to give and to designate where you want your gift to go.
Every dollar helps. Every dollar makes the world better, one child at a time.