Childcare… Or How to Improve the System

One of the biggest barriers for current foster parents, or people interested in becoming foster parents, is access to childcare.  As discussed in You Get Paid for This, Right?, the reimbursement rate provided by DHS in Oregon does not cover the expenses associated with providing for and raising these children, and it has no stipend for child care.  As any parent who has looked into infant care, daycare, after school care, or babysitting has realized, child care is expensive, sometimes prohibitively expensive. As a family of two working foster parents, we rely heavily on childcare to make being a foster parent possible.  Although paying for child care definitely takes a toll on our monthly budget, we also understand that we are extremely lucky/privileged to be able to afford child care for our kiddos. We also have family who live very close, and help with child care needs as well.

There are many people in our community who would make amazing foster parents, and so many of them would love to be foster parents…but they work, and would need childcare for their kiddos.  Realizing that DHS does not provide any reimbursement, stipend, or support in regards to childcare can be a major deterrent to so many potential foster parents. These people want to help, but they also work, and do not have the financial ability to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month for child care.  This childcare dilemma can be especially burdensome for single individuals interested in becoming foster parents as well as working couples. Continue reading “Childcare… Or How to Improve the System”

Dear Foster Curious

We didn’t come out as potential foster parents until we took in our first kiddo. We didn’t tell anyone we were taking classes to become certified as foster parents, because we wanted to give ourselves the ability to back out. Becoming a foster parent is a very big and very personal decision, that for better or worse, tends to define a part of you. For us, we went into the first foster parent orientation class as a curious couple, not sure if foster care was for us or not. We left, feeling like it was something we were interested in pursuing… but we didn’t tell anyone.  As we got farther into the process, and closer and closer to being certified, we told a few family members, a few coworkers so we could adjust our work schedules, and some of our closest friends. Most of our family and friends had no idea that becoming a foster parent was something we were interested in doing until we posted on Facebook the night Ava (4-hours) was sleeping soundly in her crib the first night she was placed in our home.

Continue reading “Dear Foster Curious”

The Week from Hell Pt. 1

Part 1 of a 3-Part retelling of our most trying week as foster parents.

This is the first of a 3-part post providing a day by day account of what we very quickly deemed “The Week from Hell”.  When it was occurring, it was hands down the most difficult week of foster care we had experienced. Every day, we were pushed to our limits and there were times that we very seriously consider quitting. The events discussed each day are solely related to our trials through fostering, and do not take into account the every day stressors related to work, or life in general.

The week in question occurred a few weeks after we were informed that reunification for Ava could possibly occur any moment. DHS submitted an application for her Bio-Mom to receive housing at a facility that requires the mother to have custody of her child when she moves in.  We had previously voiced our concern about this approach to DHS, and Ava’s lawyer. When we felt that our concerns and the best interest of Ava were not being taken into consideration, we began the process of requesting a CASA for Ava. Upon hearing DHS’s reunification approach, we honestly felt that they were just trying to reduce their caseload and increase their statistics.  As you read through our week from hell, know that the daily issues are compounded with our frustration with the proposed reunification plan. Continue reading “The Week from Hell Pt. 1”

The Certification Process – Pt. 2

The second half of our certification process: The SAFE Home Study or “The Newlywed Game”

Congratulations on completing your 24-hours of Foundations Training for Foster Care!

Here is your Certificate!

So now we are foster parents, right?!?!?!?! We can begin to help children in need? Right?

Nope. Continue reading “The Certification Process – Pt. 2”

The Certification Process – Pt. 1

Our experience navigating the System to become Foster Parents

As mentioned in the blog introduction, this blog is not going to serve as a “How-To” on becoming a Certified Non-Relative Foster Parent in Oregon.  For details on how to do this, Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) should be your go to, and they have information listed HERE.

This post will be more about our experience navigating the process to become certified.  We are Certified Non-Relative Foster Care Providers (foster parents) in Multnomah County, Oregon.  Our experience is limited to Oregon and Multnomah County, and we are aware that the process may be significantly different outside of Oregon. There are also Private, typically through faith based organization, certification methods as well, which also may be significantly different, but we do not have experience with those. Continue reading “The Certification Process – Pt. 1”

Acronyms and Definitions

Selected Acronyms and Terms defined for your convenience.

In most government agencies and specialized fields, acronyms are widely used, and industry specific definitions apply to many words. We will do our best to keep this page updated with frequently used acronyms, terms, and strange definitions.

Continue reading “Acronyms and Definitions”