Have you said those words?
Googled how to become a carer?
You certainly wouldn’t be alone.
There is a incredible wide gap between the number of submissions for information and the number of people who follow through with an application.
So what stops people?
Fear. Particularly, the fear of the unknown.
It isn’t the only reason, but my guess is that it is the main one.
Unknown outcomes. Unknown systems. Unknown behaviours. Unknown pasts. Unknown traumas.
But more so. The unknown child.
It is knowing someone’s story and loving someone despite their hard that makes the journey worth taking. Wonderful intentions without personal knowledge results, more often then not, in intentions never becoming actions. But, once you know; you’ve held, spoken with, encouraged, taught, prayed for a child; you can never unknow.
So if you have ever muttered the words, “I’ve thought of being a foster carer”, or if you have google searched and then wondered if It is just too hard, can I ask you something?
Do you know a child in foster care? Do you know a foster family? Or a grandparent raising their grandchild?
If you do, how can you come alongside the family to support them, to journey with them, to learn how trauma changes the way you need to parent?
If you don’t, what is your first step into the foster care system? Because it probably isn’t having a foster child show up on your doorstep! Where can you volunteer? How can you hear and know the stories to make it personal for you?
If you are a foster carer, who are you taking on the journey with you? Who are you being vulnerable to and sharing life? We can do more then inspire good intentions. We can be a part of encouraging great families to join us on this mission of children all having a family to belong to, for the time that they need. It takes a little bit of intentionality, but it doesn’t make our lives harder, I would even go as far as suggesting it will probably make your life easier!
Foster care doesn’t have to be something to fear or only for the super human. But it does have to be personal. How is it personal for you and can you share the journey with another?