No. 2 May 2016
Celebrating the Difference You Make
We all have moments of doubt. We wonder: Is what I’m doing really worth it? Do I make a difference?
In fact, it is almost as if the harder your job is, the more you care, the more likely you are to have these questioning moments.
It’s hard to say why this is. Maybe we get too close to the struggle, or get discouraged by the slow pace of change. Maybe we forget that every victory, no matter how small, is worth celebrating.
Well, if you’ve ever questioned the impact you have as a kinship caregiver or foster or adoptive parent, this issue of Fostering Perspectives is for you. In it you will find a host of clear reminders of the many ways you and your fellow resource parents make the world a better place.
In particular you’ll find articles shining a spotlight on the countless everyday actions we too often discount or overlook: reaching out to support one another. Speaking up in court and in child and family team meetings. Advocating with schools and providers on behalf of children. Connecting with children’s parents. Loving and nurturing vulnerable kids, even when they’re struggling with their emotions, behavior, and ability to trust.
Being a resource parent is a big job, and it isn’t always easy. But as the words of the children at right and in other parts of this issue testify, what you do matters a great deal. Thank you for all you do to make life better for children, families, and communities.
Reminders from Young People
My foster parents care so much about me.... Now this is what I call my home. . . . Without them, I would have given up my dream to go to college and make something of myself. —Sierra, age 17
[My adoptive mother] is too sweet—I love her. I trust [her] the best. She helps me. She gives me kisses before I go to bed. —Byanca, age 8
The thing that they have given me the most of is love and compassion. Nothing can beat that, not even a trip across the world. —Austin, age 13
My foster mom and dad adopted me. I am so glad they did. With their guidance I feel . . . I can accomplish anything. —Sofia, age 12
Since she entered that door and became my foster parent—part of my family—my life changed. . . . For the better. —Ericka, age 16
Reprinted from past issues of Fostering Perspectives
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~ Family and Children's Resource Program, UNC-CH School of Social Work ~