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Vol. 19, No. 2 • May 2015

Adults Taking Care of Themselves . . .

In the last issue of Fostering Perspectives we asked young people in foster care "What do your foster, adoptive, or kinship parents do to take care of themselves so they can do a good job taking care of you?" Here's what they had to say.

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First Place

by Maria, age 16

My foster parents do a good job taking care of me by taking care of themselves first. How? Well first of all, they always respect each other. No matter how bad the situation is, they respect each other. They always discuss anything that is going on. If it's private they wait until night to discuss the situation.

Also, they always make sure we have family time. You know family time is the most important in the world. Having a family and not having family time is like making ketchup without tomato. They also have respect for each other's feeling. Also, they take care of each other when they are sick.

And what I love is that they also work on putting up an example so when I am older I will know what to do and not suffer.

Maria received $100 for winning first prize in the writing contest.

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Second Place

by Dakota, age 10

My foster mom does a lot to take care of me and three other kids. She takes herself to the doctor to help herself be healthy . . . . She also exercises to stay in shape. There are also tons of other things she does for herself to help me. I love and appreciate her for that.

Dakota received $50 for winning second prize in the writing contest.

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Third Place

by Anayah, age 13

My adoptive parents go to the doctor and the dentist whenever the need to. . . . They spend time with us and time without us to sift their minds out. They make sure they keep in contact with our teachers. They try to keep on top of what's going on! Oh, I forgot--they also go to a lot of workshops about children.

Anayah received $25 for winning third prize in the writing contest.

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Parents Practicing Self-Care

The children below received $20 for having their work published in Fostering Perspectives.

My adoptive mother gets her nails done. My adoptive parents go grocery shopping to make sure we have enough to eat. They exercise every day. They really take care of themselves so they can take care of me. -- Caroline, age 7


They take their medicines. They make sure they go to the bank. My adoptive mom gets a yearly checkup. -- Byanca, age 8


My foster mom, Ms. Michelle, does everything she can to take care of me and my foster sister. I've been in foster care for about six and a half months. It's not easy being in foster care. It's actually kind of difficult. I've had my ups and downs with both Ms. Michelle and my foster sister.

Ms. Michelle will do almost anything for us, but it has to be within her budget. She makes sure we have clothes to wear and food to eat. She gets rest at night and she'll wake us up in the morning to get ready for school.

I know that's pretty much the basic needs of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but I don't care, it still counts, because she doesn't have to buy us clothes, or stuff to do in our free time. For instance, she buys me yarn because I crotchet and she knows it keeps me busy.

I had three A's and a B on my report card for the end of the first nine weeks as a freshman, so she took me to Michael's and she bought me three things of yarn.

-- Malia, age 14


A Better Girl

by Natosha, age 13

Once upon a time there were two girls living with their mother. Hailey and Natosha were the best of friends when they were little, but as they got older they started arguing and fighting non-stop. Separating and punishing did not work--they still fought.

One day Natosha got so mad at her mother and her sister she ended up running away. Natosha's mom called the cops and asked them to help find her missing daughter. When Natosha returned her mom said she had had enough.

Natosha was sent away to a therapeutic foster home, but not forever--just until she got her act together.

Natosha was furious and really sad. But when everything settled down, things changed. Natosha started to get better and better. Finally everything calmed down enough she could go home. Natosha was filled with joy.

When Natosha saw her mother standing there with open arms, Natosha gave her a big, big hug and said she was sorry and will be good for the rest of her life. What Natosha said was true. Natosha will never have to leave her mom ever again.

Natosha received $20 for having her work published in Fostering Perspectives.


Mine & Yours

by Jacob, age 13

in my life
we had to hide the knife

in your life
you grew up right

in my car
we couldn't drive too far

in your car
you could probably go for a tour

in my kitchen
they talked of snitchin'

in your kitchen
all you could smell is chicken

near the trees
is where we grew the weed

near your trees
you could hear the bees

on my land
there were lots of beer cans

on your land
is a box of sand

Jacob received $20 for having his poem published in Fostering Perspectives.


Fostering Perspectives' Next Writing Contest

First Prize: $100 • Second Prize: $50 • Third Prize: $25

If you are under 18 and are or have been in foster care, please send us a letter or short essay in response to the following:

Who has tried to help you stay connected to your parents and other family members while you've been in foster care? What have they done that's been helpful? What has been less helpful?

Deadline: August 4, 2015

Anyone under 21 who is or has been in foster care or a group home can enter. E-mail your submission to [email protected] or send your entry via U.S. Mail to:

John McMahon, Editor
Fostering Perspectives
Jordan Institute for Families
UNC-CH School of Social Work
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3550

Include your name, age, address, and phone number. In addition to receiving the awards specified above, winners will have their work published in the next issue of Fostering Perspectives. Runners-up may also have their work published, for which they may also receive a cash award.

We’re Also Seeking Artwork and Other Writing from Children and Teens in Foster Care
Submissions can be on any theme. Submission requirements described above apply. If sent via U.S. Mail, artwork should be mailed flat (unfolded) on white, unlined paper.