It could be for an intense situation with a child displaying sexual maladaptive behaviors or maybe a child acting out with volatile anger and you are needing to protect other children in your home. It might be a very basic plan for protecting children who have experienced trauma but aren’t displaying intense behaviors themselves. While the details and needs will vary, developing safety plans are a common need for many foster and adoptive families and we are talking about it today on the Honestly Adoption Podcast.
In today’s episode you will get a chance to listen to a replay of a live training that our host, Mike Berry, recently gave at Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit (CAFO) in 2018. It may not be something you are looking forward to, but developing and maintaining a safety plan doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Listen in for some tips and encouragement for getting this job done well.
*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post by Anthony Zurica, who works as an adoption attorney in New York City. Since becoming a solo practitioner in 2007, he has dedicated his practice to being a strong ally and advocate for his clients. His work and knowledge of Adoption law has made him a go to resource for both clients and his peers. Mr. Zurica is an active participant in the Adoption community throughout New York. You can visit his website here
or check out his Facebook page here
Adopting a child is a monumental decision for you and your family and it’s just the start of a long journey to bringing home your new family member. To make the process as smooth as possible, it’s vital to carefully choose your adoption team and understand the roles they’ll play.
When forming your adoption team, make sure that you fill the spots with individuals who support your wants and needs. Know ahead of time what kind of adoption you’re interested in, and be honest with yourself about your limitations. Think through race and culture differences, gender, special needs, and whether you want an open or closed adoption. Set your convictions on those issues and stick to them. It’s in the best interest of your family and your child-to-be. Once you’ve made those decisions, choose players that will work within the parameters you’ve set.
In the 9 years that we served as foster parents, we met very few case workers who were active foster parents. We always found this odd, especially since we were relying on them to give us guidance and support on the difficult road of foster care.
I get it. I really do. The foster care system is a mess, and case work is hard, regardless of the state you’re from. It’s hard to find a case worker who is not both grossly overworked and grossly underpaid. The turnover rate is beyond measure.
In our time as foster parents we met some fantastic case workers with energy, passion to love children, and a dream change the system. With nearly everyone like this, however, we became sad because we knew they wouldn’t last. We were certain that in a year, or less, they would move on to greener pastures, better paying jobs, and fresh opportunities, because it was too much. Or too little.
One of our greatest struggles as a foster and adoptive family has been the fear that the revolving door of foster care will leave our permanent children feeling unsure of who they are and their importance to us.
As adoptive parents we want our children to know that we are constant, secure, forever loving and unchanging. As Foster parents, we want our foster children to know that we will fill in the gap for as long as it’s needed. We are willing to hang on if necessary and willing to let go when the time comes. We are trying to parent two different ways and we often wonder if our involvement in fostering will confuse or damage our children.