View Main Page

This Issue









Vol. 20, No. 2 • May 2016

If I Were a Foster Parent . . .

In the last issue of Fostering Perspectives we asked young people in foster care, "If you were a foster parent, what would you do to help the children living in your home?" Here's what they had to say.

* * * * * * *

First Place

by Genesis, age 17

If I were a foster parent what I would tell the children living in my home they're not alone in life, that there is good in every child, and they have what it takes to succeed in life. I would cover their basic needs--food in their stomachs, clothes on their backs, and a place to live. Most importantly, I would tell them that they're loved very much and not to feel different or alone.

I want to see foster kids make it in life and find that one family who is out there waiting for that child. [I would] explain that being in a foster home doesn't make you a bad kid, or is something to be afraid of. It's not bad. It's just one step at time being taken down a tough road.

I want my own foster kid to be able to talk to me about anything . . . . I want to be able to have something to say back and be able to help to the best of my ability. I want to fulfill so many foster kids' lives and see the best out of them and have them feel they're not alone. . . .

I want them to know that they're safe, that I can provide for them, and that I love them no matter what the situation is. I would have my child know that when they take that first step into my house I wouldn't treat them any different. . . .

I want to voice my opinion and stand up to be the first and say what I think and how I feel about foster care and the kids waiting or going in and out of it. I want to fight and see these kids be happy and succeed and have what every other kid has. They should feel no shame to be in a foster home. . . . If it were up to me I would take in every foster child out in the world who is begging for a family . . . . I want to make a huge difference. . . .

God makes things happen and I believe that foster parents will reach out and help these amazing kids who want a home and loving family. . . .

So, I am saying to all those kids out in the world to stand by me, stay tough, have hope, and believe that something good will happen in life, that a family is out there waiting for you all. Your wishes will come true. . . . I'm standing with all of you kids in the world today and for the rest of life to know that every day there is a kid who is being brought in a home to start a new beginning and life.

All you foster kids, don't give up! There is a positive in life. Keep your heads up and voice your opinions. Speak up! Use your voice! Stand tall and walk with pride because I'm walking with you!

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

* * * * * * *

Second Place

by Braxton, age 9

If I were a foster parent I would listen to [the kids in my care]. I would take care of them for the rest of my life.

I would put them to bed and read them a story and rub their back. I would love them and help them.

I would give them different experiences like plays, movies, sports, and trips.
I would give them healthy food.

I would buy them clothes.

If they didn't know how to tie their shoes, I would tie their shoes for them. I would love them. (I was adopted to my forever home 1 year ago.)

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

* * * * * * *

Third Place

by Haley, age 14

If I were a foster parent, my first action would be to make a lasting first impression. I would present [the kids in my home] with a gift while also incorporating something unique about them. For example, if I had a young foster girl with red hair placed in my care, I would probably give her a Raggedy Ann doll or a beautiful dress. Also, I would definitely have some down time with the child and get to know them on a personal level, learn about their skills and achievements, or favorite food and TV show.

I think it would be important to celebrate their individuality and have a vacation picked out by each child. (Of course, these vacations would happen at different times). If I didn't have the funds, we would go to the park and explore or I would buy an animal.

If I were a foster parent, I would definitely try to be a role model or parent figure, but not cross their boundaries. I would not try to replace their mother.

Overall, as a foster parent, I would try to be fun and outgoing while also balancing family time. I would try to make sure everyone got along and was comfortable.

Also, I would show them that being unique is something to be proud of, and accept any child I got, no matter their beliefs, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preferences. I would be their safe haven.

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

* * * * * * *

If I Were a Foster Parent . . .

by Julious, age 10

If I were a foster parent, I would first get to know (children) by finding out what their allergies are and when their birthday is. I would also ask if they were comfortable with our home and make some food they like.

Also, I would go on a vacation every month or so. I think doing something a kid wants to do is important, and the whole family can have some fun for a couple of days, which is not too bad.

Julious received $20 for having his work 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:

What does being healthy mean to you?

Deadline: August 3, 2016

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.