The phone is ringing at 2:00 a.m. Groggily you reach for the phone and try to organize your thoughts to be able to best process what you are hearing. You are being asked to take the emergency foster placement of a child. Indeed, that child may be anywhere in the age range of newborn to 18. Meanwhile, your sleep has been disrupted. By taking in a child in the middle of the night, the whole household will be disrupted. Your disruption is not nearly what the child has gone through.
You Are Prepared for Emergency Foster Care
You have taken training from the agency and agreed to be on the list for emergency foster placement. Sometimes the placement will just be for a few days until a more permanent situation can be worked out. Or, you will be the ongoing care for the time, until reunification is completed, if possible. Most of the time when signing up for and being licensed for providing foster care, there are ages, sex of the children, and number you can take in for care. This is your calling. A way you hope to help the children, who through no fault of their own has been swept up into this situation.
You have been given the brief details of the situation, but really cannot fathom the trauma the child has gone through by the problems of the adults who are supposed to nurture and care for him. The police and Children and Family Services have been involved. Even if the child knows his situation in the home is not good, they still have a very deep love for their biological parent or parents. When it is a nighttime emergency placement, the two most common causes have been domestic violence or drug abuse by the adults.
What happens now when the child or children come to your home can be crucial to the child’s future welfare. Do not expect them to be forthcoming of what has happened to them and why. Often times they are angry with the authorities that have put them there and loyal to the parent. They may not be ready to talk. They are usually expecting you to be the enemy.
Your job is to flood them with love. Don’t sound judgmental. Do not denigrate the parent. Provide them with care, comfort, stability, and love. Expect to have some bumps in the road. The things they have been through, not only at this tipping point but before would cause anyone to have a few emotional thoughts or problems.
How You Can Answer This Call
If you are in Oklahoma and want to give life-changing help to children in need, TFI Family Connections can get you started. Contact us to get all your questions answered and get started on your journey to becoming a foster parent, and emergency foster care placement. However, if you are not in the state of Oklahoma, there are agencies that handle child placements in every area. Reach out to them.