Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Foster Parents

Eddie Murphy, Duante Culpepper, Superman, Marilyn Monroe, Alonzo Mourning, Cher, Ice T, John Lennon, James Dean and Babe Ruth . . . What do all these people have in common? They were foster kids!

Foster parenting is a job that gets little attention and is in great demand. I*t involves taking a child into your home who has been abused, neglected or abandoned or whose primary caregivers are unable to meet their parenting duties . . . and caring for them as if they’re one of your own. It’s parenting with challenges potentially far exceeding the norm.

However, the rewards can be extraordinary as well. Imagine superman calling you on mother’s Day or Father’s Day!

There are approximately 550,000 children in the foster care system. The largest portion of children in foster care are from ages 11 to 15 – not an easy age even when they are your own children!

How do you know if foster parenting is for you? Are you a patience, committed person? What are your expectations of children and foster parenting? How good are you at saying good bye? How does your family feel about doing foster care? After all, foster parenting isn’t just about the parents. It’s a job that impacts the entire family. Do you have a lot of love to give?

In Hillsborough County, Hillsborough Kids, Inc. oversees the care of approximately 2,800 children and teens in Hillsborough County due to abuse or neglect. HKI’s mission is to keep kids safe while strengthening families. Funded primarily through Florida’s Department of Children and Families, HKI is the lead agency managing child welfare in Hillsborough County. Their website is http://hillsboroughkids.com/

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