Author: Julie H., Foster Mom
The Norris Therapeutic Foster Program always refers to going “Beyond Fostering”. I’ve seen and heard this for the past year and a half but never really thought about what that looks like in practice. On a surface level, I interpreted it as meaning that you do whatever it takes to foster a child. You follow the directions, get the trainings, include trauma-informed care in decision making, and work on building relationships with birth parents. However, digging deeper into the concept I’ve realized it’s so much more than that.
Beyond fostering in practice is helping your foster child’s siblings, helping their foster parents, bringing food to family members who are struggling, fixing dad’s van on the side of the road, bringing tools for dad to use so he can get to work, writing letters to siblings who are getting help in treatment facilities, going to family picnics with your foster child so she can get to know her aunts and cousins, joining foster parent support groups, developing your own support groups, writing blogs so other families can feel not so alone, helping foster parents navigate special education laws, and talking about fostering with anyone who wants to know….just to name a few.
Beyond Fostering: What a great name. Good job Norris. You trained us well.