We all need empathy for foster kids in order to have a positive impact on these sweet kids in care. It’s easy to forget why we are fostering, or why it’s important to be involved in foster care. And this week, I (Jihae) became a licensed foster care trainer. Which means I will start teaching prospective foster parents to get licensed. And having to go through Foster Parent College as part of my training, helped me to remember the trials and tribulations that come with foster care. But not for the foster parent, but for the foster kids.
In this episode, we go through an exercise that reminds us of all that our kids are facing. This is an exercise that we invite you to do with us, to help grow our levels of empathy for our foster kids. And this is also a great exercise that you can do as a family as you prepare to have foster children to join your family.
Grab 5 post its, or pieces of paper for each person, and then write 5 things you absolutely love and that are a part of your daily life. Don’t write 5 individual people’s names, you can cluster those into ‘family’, ‘friends’, etc. And then, one by one, drop one of those things in order of priority to you. And chances are, you have family as the last thing you are hanging on to – and then drop that too. Foster children are taken away from everything they know – their schools, neighborhoods, friends, possessions, AND family. This exercise should remind us all and create more empathy for what our foster children are dealing with.
Grace for Bio Families
We were also reminded to have grace for bio families, and how important it is to be kind and gracious to bio families. When you can have a good relationship with bio families – everyone wins! Especially the kids. How great is it for our foster and adoptive kids to feel like they have two sets of parents who love them and support them, and support each other?
So we just want to continue to encourage you all to keep playing a role in supporting foster children. Whether you are an educator, a foster parent, a neighbor to a foster family, or anything in between, we all can play a role in supporting kids in foster care.
The Good Word of the Day
“We can’t let the fear of loving a child that might leave deter us; we must let the fear of a child never knowing our love drive us.”-Jason Johnson ‘Reframing Foster Care’
We have so many fears before, and even during our foster care journey. But none of those fears should trump the fact that we can still get involved in the lives of these at-risk-youth.
Fostering Voices on Instagram
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
AND we would LOVE it if you would SUBSCRIBE and leave us a review on iTunes! This helps others to find our podcast so we can share these voices from the foster care and adoption community with more people!
If you want to see how to leave a review, check out this handy little video!