We started our PRIDE (Parent Resource Information Development Education) classes this week, today we attended the second of nine sessions. Last Tuesday we had an overview of the process, the meaning and responsibilities of being a Foster Parent. We had a video that was an eye opener (even though is an old one), you get to see potential reactions/behaviors of a foster child. However, today’s class was somehow depressing.
Today’s class was called “Teamwork”, through the three hours the three instructors emphasized the main objective of the child welfare services is to reunite families. They demonstrated with videos and exercises. They had a specific video showing how “Professional Teamwork” works in making sure that families are reunited. They also emphasized that the child always want to reunite with the birth parents. We went through an explanation of the Juvenal Court System and how long does it take until parent rights might be relinquish from or by the birth parents. It takes approximately 18 months in court for the parental rights to be relinquish and at that time the birth parents have the right to appeal. On average 80% of the childs that are removed from their families due to neglect are reunited, the remaining 20% will either remain in foster case for more than 5 five years or be adopted. It was also interesting to learn that a child at the age of 12 years old can decide that they do not want to be adopted and remain on the system until they can become an emancipated minor.
Today’s class hit me hard. Although I had already thought about open or semi-open adoption. It was difficult for me to acknowledge that the child is being removed from their house/family and that they really want to reunite with them. While I am really looking forward to adopting somehow today the class didn’t make it feel right. They made us realize how traumatic the child removal process is and how important it is to try to keep childhood memories, pictures (scrapbook), cultural traditions. All these things help make a placement where the child feels more comfortable, safe and improves the adjustment time. This was all great information but somehow did not made me feel good about the adoption process, at least not this one. Now I understand why they say that this process might not be the best one for you. We’ll just continue with the process and see how I feel after a couple of more classes. I will want to adopt to help, nurture, educate, love, and play with a child not to hurt them or separate them from their family. Adoption is hard, and I haven’t even started.
- A mom’s perspective on foster parenting (knoxnews.com)