When COVID Hit, NC’s Resource Parents Stepped Up
by Jodi Franck •
Who can you count on when times are hard? If the COVID-19 crisis has taught me anything, it’s that when challenges arise, resource parents step up.
How do I know? Through my work overseeing the licensing of North Carolina’s foster parents I have had the privilege to hear about some of the many extraordinary actions resource parents have taken since the pandemic began, despite the risk to themselves.
For example, some resource parents have deliberately opened their homes to children who have COVID-19. Others have asked for waivers to non-safety related licensing rules so they could care for young people with no place to go. When his mother was hospitalized with COVID-19, one man even moved into her house and became a licensed foster parent himself so that the child in her care would not have to move.
Or consider the letter below from Diana Adams, one of North Carolina’s resource parents. In her letter Ms. Adams shares what this time has been like for her and the children in her care. As she makes clear, the pandemic has been hard on everyone, but in a surprisingly short time we’ve adjusted. We’ve found a new kind of balance.
North Carolina has many wonderful, dedicated resource parents. We know this time has had so many challenges, but we hope that you have found some blessings and more time together. Thank you for rising to the challenges that have come before you and for being the safe, secure, home for our children.
Jodi Franck is Foster Home Licensing Manager with the NC Division of Social Services.
We’ve Learned How to Balance
The pandemic has helped us realize life is precious. With this virus we must protect our five children who we have in our home. The shut down is hard on us and the kids. It’s tough explaining to them nothing is open and we really can’t go anywhere. It’s hard on their little lives: playgrounds and parks closed, masks to be worn. The world is different than what we’re used to.
But we’ve had many successes during COVID time. We have learned to grow closer and spend more time with the kiddos—a lot more game nights and movie nights. The hustle and the bustle slows down, which is calming at times. And I believe we’ve all grown closer in trusting God’s plan.
We have a great support group for our foster parents. We meet every Sunday over Zoom to connect and talk. This group is amazing and, on some days, lifesaving. We get to share stories, advice, and learn things that may work better with kids’ behaviors.
When COVID started our kids could no longer see their bus driver, their friends, their teacher. They suffered great loss. Parents had to visit virtually, which was hard for my kids to understand. It was a very trying time.
Then schools went virtual and I became their teacher, as well as their foster mom.
So 24/7 every single day became a very hard challenge. Of course when the new school year started it was different as well. They go two days in-person and then virtual for three. My kids are thankful for those in-person days even though they’re learning more about social distancing. They get to go on the bus, have made friends, and love their teachers.
So, I think issues became hard when it started but we all have learned how to balance and understand how it’s going to work. So far this year my three kids who attend school are thankful. Plus, it gives mom a break to tend to my other two littlest ones.