Newsletter

Lawton Holiday Event

Join TFI Family Connections to Provide a Festive Holiday Party for Foster Care Families in Southwest Oklahoma.

Lawton Holiday Event

Sponsors will help us provide a party at LOL in Lawton including game tokens and wristbands, bounce houses, skating, food, and door prizes for foster parents, biological children and foster children – FUN for all!

For families unable to attend, TFI Family Connections will deliver gifts.




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Is Fostering a Child Right for You?

For those with compassion for others, and the drive to give back to their community, fostering a child can be a wonderful experience. The opportunity to give a child a secure home may seem fulfilling, but it’s important to assess whether this commitment is right for you. By making an informed decision, you can ensure that you are prepared to enter this life-changing role to provide foster care for a child.

What are Your Expectations for Fostering a Child?

Before you decide to apply to be a foster parent, it’s important to analyze your expectations. Do you expect to eventually adopt a child? Will you be willing to foster multiple children at one time? What lifestyle changes do you anticipate? By considering these factors ahead of time, you can decide if taking further steps is the best choice.

How do Your Family Members Feel about You Fostering a Child?

Especially if you have children of your own, it’s important to talk to your family about their opinions on fostering a child. By being open and honest with your partner and children, you are more likely to receive honest thoughts in return. This ensures that everyone in your home will be willing to provide a safe and nurturing space for a foster child.

How Would Foster Children Fit into Your Current Lifestyle?

Retired, elders decide fostering a child was the right decision for lifestyle as they play in backyard

Becoming a foster parent will create some changes to your current routine. It’s important to decide how well you can adapt your lifestyle to these changes. For those with school-aged children, this could mean allotting more time for transportation and activities. For retired people, it may mean re-introducing the presence of children in the house. Assess your current lifestyle and how it will change if you become a foster parent.

Are You Ready to Take the Necessary Steps to Become a Foster Parent?

While you may be ready to provide love and support to a child, it’s essential that you are prepared for the logistical process of foster care as well. From social work assessments to interviews, this rewarding role takes time and effort to achieve.

Learn More about Becoming a Foster Parent

Deciding to become a foster parent is both rewarding and selfless. It can change the lives of vulnerable children in your community. To guide your family’s choices, your local foster care organization is available to answer your questions. Being thorough in your decision and collecting plenty of information can lead to full preparedness when you enter foster parenthood.

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Can I Foster as A Single Parent?

When people think of foster parents, they often imagine a couple who takes in children. If you are unmarried, though, you might wonder if you can foster as a single parent. The good news is that your marital status does not influence your ability to become a foster parent. As a single parent, though, you might have specific concerns and questions.

Can I Pick the Child or Children That I Foster?

Woman who acts as foster as a single parent reading to foster child at park in fall

While this is not a concern unique to unmarried foster parents, the reasons for your concern could be legitimate. Maybe, you’re an unmarried woman who is not comfortable having teenage boys in your home, or as someone who works a full-time job, you only want to foster older children whose school schedule is similar to your work schedule. Perhaps, you don’t feel like you can adequately care for a child with a severe physical handicap. The good news is that no matter the reason for your concern, you can pick the children you foster as a single parent.

Who Will Care for the Children When I Take a Business Trip?

Being out of town for a few days at a time does not disqualify you from being a foster parent. Just like you would do with your birth or adoptive children, you can decide who cares for your child or children while you are gone. This could be a friend, family member, or someone else that you trust. If you are gone for less than seven days, you do not need the caregiver approved. You should simply use your best judgment. If you are going to be gone for seven to thirteen days, the caregiver must be approved through the agency. Formal respite caregivers who are also approved foster homes may also be used.

What If I’m Not Good at Parenting?

Just about every parent has this concern whether they are married or not. The key is simply to do your best to provide the love and stability that the children need. Be the person they need in their lives. If you have the desire, you’ll likely do a good job.

Learn More about How to Foster as a Single Parent

Contact us to learn more about being a foster parent.

Respite Provider: Unsung Hero in Foster Care

Respite Providers Bring Relief

While most folks have a basic understanding of foster care and how it works, becoming a respite provider is a unique way to serve kids as well. As fellow foster parents, it requires a unique kind of hero to make this special commitment. A reputable foster care agency or program strives to place children who have been removed from highly unstable home environments into homes with safe and nurturing adults. The goal is to boost the child’s resilience while aiding them in meeting healthy personal/emotional, social, and academic milestones. While not all foster placements endure, a long-term stay is usually ideal for bolstering the relationships (which create the much-needed stability).

Foster care programs recognize that fostering a child in need is exhausting work, and that foster parents need breaks from time to time in order to provide their best care. Kids in care also benefit from short breaks from their primary foster placement, just like most kids appreciate a break from their parents or guardians on occasion. That’s where a respite provider fits into the equation. They open their homes (and hearts) to children who are already placed in another home. The purpose of this is giving everyone a much-needed break, usually from one to three days. Emergency respite is another option that carries its own challenges and rewards, aiding children who do not yet have a stable foster home placement.

Shot of a cheerful young respite provider helping her foster child to ride his bike outside during the day

Try Becoming a Respite Provider Before a Foster Parent

Potential foster parents who have reservations about the schedule demands of typical foster care may wish to consider serving as a respite provider, as there is considerably more flexibility. A respite provider can typically let the agency or program know well in advance when they are available to provide care. While respite care is not easier per se, some respite providers report that children who typically struggle with emotional-behavioral issues appear to cope more easily in respite.

Finally, potential respite providers may wish to consider how their own goals may be impacted by longer-versus-shorter placements. On one hand, some foster parents find that working through the day-to-day to create stability for a child in a longer-term placement creates a more meaningful experience for all. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for a foster child to develop a strong rapport with a respite provider and express excitement about their special weekends with a trusted and familiar friend.  Respite care is a unique option to consider for those who feel called to support children whose circumstances have brought them into foster care.

Learn More about Becoming a Respite Provider

Please contact us to learn more about fostering options.

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Foster Parenting: What Does It Take?

What Does it Take to Foster?

With the current political climate, helping children is on a lot of people’s minds. But what can be done? Some people might protest. Others might donate to campaigns or organizations that can help. But, anyone looking for an incredibly fulfilling way to help children should consider becoming a foster parent.

Now almost everyone knows what it means to be a foster parent, but what does it take to become one? According to the OKDHS, or Oklahoma Department of Human Services, any applicant for foster parenting must meet the following requirements:

The applicant needs to be at least twenty-one years old, in good physical health, and sound mental state. In addition, the applicant needs to have maintained healthy relationships as appropriate for marital and living status. The potential foster parent must also have a functioning vehicle, be able to properly accommodate sleeping and living arrangements for each foster child placed under his or her care, provide proof of financial stability outside of any foster care reimbursements, and provide references of upstanding character.

Furthermore, the applicant and any other household members older than twelve must submit to a background investigation. Should a criminal background check reveal a history of any abuse, whether confirmed or alleged, the applicant will be disqualified. Upon completion of the background check, the applicant must agree to subsequently complete all required training and agree to comply with all OKDHS disciplinary rules. These include, but are by no means limited to, refraining from smoking in any confined space with the child present and, if necessary, agreeing to work with social workers and the child’s biological parents.

A mother and daughter playing at home in a tent.

Learn More About Becoming a Foster Parent

These are the general prerequisites for becoming a foster parent; however, you can find a list of the full legal requirements here. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent in Oklahoma, please contact us with any questions or concerns. Becoming a foster parent requires a large time commitment and a lot of work, but, for anyone looking for the fulfillment of helping a child in need, there’s no question of whether or not it’s worth it.

July 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Self-care: Do it for yourself, your family, and your kids

If resource parents had a motto, it might be “children first.” Or perhaps “children and their families first.” Either would be fitting. Foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers do what they do because they want to see children and their families heal and thrive.

June 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Self-care: Do it for yourself, your family, and your kids

If resource parents had a motto, it might be “children first.” Or perhaps “children and their families first.” Either would be fitting. Foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers do what they do because they want to see children and their families heal and thrive.

May 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Keep Calm… Summer is coming!

Enjoy this summer but take a few precautions to protect your child(ren) and yourself from some of the more dangerous aspects of this season. Here are some summer safety tips and ideas on what to do this summer.

April 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month began as a reaction to increased public awareness of child abuse throughout the 1970’s. As a result, Ronald Reagan declared April National Child Abuse Prevention month in 1983. The goal was to increase understanding of what contributes to the prevalence of child abuse and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

March 2018 – Between Families Newsletter

Spring Break

Spring Break is quickly approaching; with that comes the stress of keeping many children occupied and happy! Most of us are operating on a budget which requires a Spring Break “Staycation”. Here is a list of ideas that could help generate ideas for your family to have a successful Spring Break this year!