They say "It takes a Village" to raise children and when it comes to children who have experienced trauma as a result of abuse and/or neglect this is certainly no exception. Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for people all across the nation to focus attention on the year-round needs of American children and youth in foster care. The campaign raises awareness about foster care and encourages many more citizens to get involved in the lives of these youth, whether as their foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.
In my many years of working "in the field", I have had the opportunity to serve as a coordinator and advocate for children and youth in the foster care system. From working with children directly to help them to overcome their trauma to educating foster and adoptive parents on ways to parent children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences that result in problem behavior. By far, it has been of the most challenging yet rewarding times of my career. Today, I have a greater advantage of being involved in state policy to impact greater change and good for our children.
BFE makes a diligent and resilient effort to support local foster care and adoption agencies, foster care and adoptive parents, and kinship families with developing the skills and knowledge to parent children who have experienced trauma as a result of abuse and neglect. During one of the workshops facilitated, participants (as pictured) gain practical experience. They learn how children fall apart before our eyes with their many pieces of hurt, fear, anger, and disappointment at our hands. It starts by one person taking the leap to help, and soon others join in to "dress the wounds" to help them recover. Children who experience trauma are NOT broken, but they will not be the same from the experience. With love, support, patience, care, and collaboration and teamwork, children can heal and learn to trust...they can learn to become more secure.
I encourage you to become educated about children in foster care, and if willing, able, and secure to parent a child in foster care, contact a local agency or social services. If your agency provides child-placing services or if you are a family Interested in more education and training on fostering and adopting, BFE can support you. BFE utilizes the Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education Model of Practice for Supporting Foster and Adoptive Families as Team Members in Child Protection and Trauma-Informed Care of Children. For more information, contact BFE.