Advice to Future Foster Parents
Recently, I asked our Recruiter/Trainer, Recia, to give the resource parents a short survey to fill out at training. As the marketing coordinator, I wanted some feedback on their experiences. How could I ever express to people what we do at Apelah without the voices and stories of the people who live it every day? Soon after the training, Recia handed me back a stack of handwritten responses. As I read through the surveys, I was struck again and again by the heart it takes to be a resource parent. In honor of foster care month, I wanted to share with all of you some the answers to one question in particular:
What would you tell someone who was thinking about becoming an Apelah resource parent?
Some of the responses warmed my heart as they mentioned Apelah and the support they feel from the staff:
“Tell them that we researched multiple agencies before deciding on Apelah, we have not been disappointed in our decision ❤.”
“I would inform them of the reality of being a resource parent, and recommend that they use Apelah. Their staff is always friendly, available, and provide any assistance when needed.”
“I would tell them I really love being a foster parent for Apelah.”
Many of the parents were honest - being a resource parent isn’t always easy - but it was obvious in every sentence that each of them loved the children in his or her care. They didn’t try to hide the struggles, but rather highlighted that those struggles never seemed to be outweighed by what they are able to give the kids.
“To think hard about it and make sure they are ready and have patience and a kind and loving heart because it is challenging. These kids need a loving home.”
“Don't expect it to be perfect. You have to have a love for children.”
“It has been the best experience, there will be time when you want to give up. But don't because that child is trusting you to open doors for their brighter future.”
Of course, there was one parent who seemed to sum it up perfectly and gave the simple advice that everyone who might be thinking about becoming a resource parent probably needs to hear:
“Do it!! It is work, but honestly worth it!”