Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Foster parenting

I have been involved in consulting work with Children's Aid Societies all my professional life. I have assessed children who needed to be in the Care of the Society, and I have assessed children while they were in Care. I have seen up close the effects of neglect and abuse. I have also been privileged to see the effects of foster parenting, and to be involved in training and coaching of foster parents. To see children blossom when they become safe, when they learn to trust that they matter and will be taken care, is one of life's great experiences. It is that for the foster parents as well, I think, even though it can be tough going at times. Children do not give away their hearts readily when those hearts have not been cared for as they needed to be.

Recently the Kingston Children's Aid Society launched a recruitment drive for foster parents, and they added a unique twist. They made a targeted approach to the faith communities in Kingston. This strikes me as a very smart thing to do. Being a church-goer absolutely does not by itself give you the skills to be a foster parent, but it does hopefully say something about the softness and the openness you would bring to this very important role. Add in the training and the potential for success looks very good.

As you can see, I support the campaign.

A meeting with faith community representatives was held on October 13, and there was sharing of experiences as well as generation of ideas how to get the word out to parishioners/ members of congregations. If you live in the Kingston area and wish to be part of this, let me know and I will put you in touch with the appropriate staff.

Whether you live in Kingston or anywhere else, the need for foster parents is significant. What about you? Want to make a difference in a child's life? This is an up-close way to do it. You would get screened, you go through training, and you get paid for the work. Call your local Children's Aid Society to check it out. In Kingston it is 613-542-7351.

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