Coming home to a foster familyWritten by Carol Strychalski
This spring, I had the pleasure of watching two sweet children blossom and grow in their foster placement.
They were a sibling group of toddlers who had been placed in the middle of the night, fearful and somewhat aggressive. The first-time foster parents worked hard to help them feel safe, meet their needs, and develop appropriate ways to communicate.
Through the hard work of connection, the children learned to trust their foster parents. In a short period, they made noticeable behavioral progress.
But at the beginning of summer, a birth family placement was identified.
A shaky goodbye
The foster family and children had a very hard time saying goodbye. The children were scared. They were sad to leave and the foster family worried about their safety.
The family told the children’s Child Protective Services caseworker that the youth were welcome back if they should ever need placement again. They expressed their desire to remain part of the children’s lives, even if they stayed with their birth family.
After about a month, the birth family placement unfortunately disrupted. CPS reached back out to see if their previous foster placement was still available.
The foster family was concerned about how the children might have been impacted by another disruption and questioned what they had been exposed to while out of their care. Still, they remained committed to providing consistent care for these children.
I then had the pleasure of watching this sweet reunion. The children returned to the foster parents with whom they trusted and felt safe.
Smiles spread across their faces and their bodies relaxed when they saw their foster parents. They ran for hugs.
They integrated right back into their routine as if they had never left.
“Mommy, look at my doll.”
“Daddy, can I color?”
I’m so thankful for the safe, playful environment that their foster parents created, and that these kids were able to come home.