This week, we are very happy to have two of our Foster Care social workers share with us on their work experience highlights in the journey of foster care!
About Foster Care Service
Vivian: We provide supervision and support to foster families to ensure the children grow up healthily in the foster family. At the same time, we assist the children to achieve their long-term welfare plan, including return to their birth family, or adoption.
Tiffany: We help review applications from prospective foster families, and look into considerations such as their communities, network support, home environment, parenting experience, etc. Once their applications are approved, we match them according to the needs of the children.
Vivian: In fact, we look into the child’s background and needs, such as health, or special development needs, so as to match them with the best suitable foster family. We do our best to detect and take early action on a child’s developmental stages. When we find that a child’s specific needs, we provide them with treatment as soon as possible, so we have an early intervention service program. We also connect to some external services for our children.
Tiffany: We have a set of tools to systematically identify the biggest needs of foster children and their own strengths, so that we can provide more tailor-made services for the children’s needs.
Tiffany: I remember that once there was a child who was very active, cute and healthy, but his plan was not finalized for a long time. In fact, his parents went missing for a while. Actually, we were very anxious for the child. At that time, in the best interest of the child, on one hand, we tried all means searching for his parents or the child’s other family members who could take care of him. At the same time, we sought help at some family service centers to help apply for appointing the Director of Social Welfare as the legal guardian of the baby. Finally, the parents did show up. When we met with them, we lose no time trying to discuss on their thoughts and tried to minimize to the shortest waiting time possible, so that the child could successfully go to his permanent family in the end.
Vivian: A birth mother decided to have her child go for adoption, so we arranged a final visit. There was much tears of clinging and reluctance in the process, and it was not easy for the mother finally say goodbye to this child. The foster mom hugged the birth mom to comfort and calm her emotions. I could see that the foster mom do understand the pain in the birth mother very well.
Tiffany: I once met a mother, she was actually very uneasy about the foster care service, so in fact, her attitude did somehow affected her to reduce visiting her child. During that period, I put in a lot of patience and kept trying to talk to her to know more about her. Even sometimes she didn’t ask for it, I would take the initiative to send the child’s recent photos, video clips, etc. In fact, I wanted to use this method to make our relationship closer, and remind the mother that she is very important to the child. At the same time, the child also missed her much. In the end, the child could return to his birth mother and live together successfully. It seems that we are in this together with the mothers and children to make the impossible possible after a lot of effort. When children and their parents can have a closer relationship, seeing them smile happily, I think it is a sense of gratitude and fulfilment for the foster moms.
Vivian: I have witnessed a lot of growth and changes in children. One example is that I saw some children who came to the foster home with much hurt, but after foster moms took good care of them and comforted their heart and soul, the hurt and wounds slowly and gradually heal, and they felt more secured and assuring. I have seen that they have made a lot of progress in the path of growth and development.
Love & Support
Tiffany: Many people are confused about foster care and adoption. Foster care means that before the children can return to their homes, the foster family can act as a bridge to provide temporary, safe and suitable care to the children. I used to think that caring for children requires a lot of fancy, superior resources and having the right environment, but it turns out that caring for children is actually very simple. And that is to provide them with love and a sense of security, so that they can establish a stable relationship of attachment. You can already offer them growing up happily and healthily.
Vivian: In fact, we can really give so much love, care, and whole-heartedness regardless of gender, race, or blood relationship. I think foster families are more than just taking care of children. In fact, foster families have a responsibility to join in with the birth family and the social worker, forming a strong triangular bond, to make decisions and intervene in the best interests of the child together.
Tiffany: I would like to say to all the children in foster care that although you may feel confused or lost at times, I do hope that you will believe that there are actually many people around you to support you and walk alongside you, so that you can be more assured, and be confident to ride the waves of life’s challenges overcoming difficulties in the future.
Vivian: I would like to say thank you to all the foster parents. Thank you for dedicating much of your time and efforts to give the child a very warm family, so that they can enjoy the warmth of the family like other children, growing up healthy and happy at the same time.