How to Overcome Foster Parent Bias
How to overcome foster parent bias?
For foster parents to get past the foster parent bias of abusive, money-hungry, self-serving adults, we must become more professional and caring. We must foster for the right reasons. I read a book by Ashley Rhodes-Courter that described her experiences in foster care. This book gave me an idea why there was bias against the people who do foster care; her foster parents were horrible. You need to read the book.. You can find more about her story at her website, http://rhodes-courter.com/ I'm glad that there are more restrictions and oversight into foster care.
There is also a book by Rosie Maloney. Her time in foster care is recorded in her memoir, Girl Unbroken.
See the trailer for the book here. https://youtu.be/yy1zfDc1wcE
There must be a sincere passion for helping underprivileged children and perhaps their biological parents. We don’t want to have the perception of Miss Hannagan from the movie Annie when they hear we do foster care.
Ms. Hannigan was a pathetic version of a human being, make less a ‘mother’ figure to the orphan girls. She was more worried about drinking and getting a man than molding young ladies into their full potential - which led to foster parent bias on some levels.
Agatha Hannigan is the main antagonist in Annie. She is the authoritarian head of the orphanage, a job she loves, but she hates children, especially Annie. https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Agatha_Hannigan
Helping to mold young people into their best self...
...is what we should be accomplishing. We should take the opportunity to speak life into these young people and show them love and compassion.
“I discovered that so many people get involved in fostering for the money and not to make a lasting impact on a child’s life. But I had a few good short-term, or respite, foster parents, and they are the ones who are still in my life today. To me, the foster parents who didn’t want to foster full-time were better mentors and parents.” Read the entire article here: https://www.childrensrights.org/my-experiences-in-foster-care/
The following stories represent real foster families that have “cared for” children who are the most vulnerable. This link makes me so sad – sick to my stomach: https://humansoftumblr.com/foster-kids-reveal-modern-day-orphanage-horror-stories/
I want so much better for the foster families with whom I interact! No more foster parent bias...
We can alleviate the foster parent bias. I also want to seriously impact the children’s lives so they can try to have a somewhat normal existence – a hope and a future. Could it be possible to thrive in your home? Could we impress value on them?
Heaven forbid we starve them or treat them like dogs. God, forbid we deny them the food – both physical and emotional - that they need to grow more stable.
Here was a post that may help you in the short term for fostering children. Let me know what you think of it. https://impressingminds.com/professional-foster-parenting/
Foster families need to get past the negative stereotypes of wanting to do this for the money, abusive tendencies, and apathy. We need to be the professionals that will assist the children in overcoming trauma, generational issues, poverty problems, and abandonment that they have experienced. Foster parents need to educate ourselves in the best possible way to gain the respect of the others in the system – albeit broken.
A Psychologist's thoughts...
Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychologist who wrote the famous book about a boy who was raised like a dog said in so many words that foster parents are valuable and essential for therapy to work in the home, in practical life situations. I think that was an overall theme of the book. He praised the parents who actually cared about the child and wanted what was best.
What the child learns in a therapy visit is useless if he or she cannot function correctly outside of the office. Home is a place for therapy to be practiced. It is like the actual lab of a scientist. The therapy office is like a study hall area.
Foster parent bias can change when we have the best interest of the child - no matter what that is.
Foster parents are often the only people who are actively fighting for these children; hopefully, we are. However, because of the stereotypes of the news, past behaviors of other foster parents, or the system itself, we may not have the clout that we need to have a voice.
There are many ways to become more educated in the foster care system. The most important areas to educate ourselves would be in the following: child psychology, child development, abuse and neglect, trauma, sociology, parenting, and attachment. (I’m not talking about the mandatory classes that you take to become foster parents. They are a start, but don’t give you a meaningful beginning to the burden that you’ll be bearing and want to successfully carry.)
We should do our research and become more professional.
When we have issues with our children, we educate ourselves and ask questions. The ways to educate ourselves are to find others who have gone through similar circumstances with their own child – their own foster child or adopted child. I hope that you have a great support group. My next post will be all about support because of this factor – education and support. We cannot do this professionally and sanely on our own.
How can we support those who foster? How can we be excellent foster parents? - even when we are frustrated beyond belief...
In my new book, I address these issues and give tips and trips. You won't want to miss out on the practical tips. Sign up for my email (a pop-up to this website) to get the pre-release Chapter One for free.
Would you like to be a part of the launch team? Email me at email@example.com (subject line: launch) to get chapter one and be invited to order the book at 1/2 price when it launches. I just want an honest review and share the book with all the foster mommas you know.
Look forward to hearing from you.