Exclusive: We Speak with Foster Mom Whose Emotional Message Went Viral
Challenges Foster Youth Face
Teens entering foster care are often escaping terrible living situations. Youth entering the foster system often have to experience a range of mental and/or physical abuse which leave them with trauma and other unique challenges, especially when adjusting to a new school:
Teachers, as well as school counselors, do not often have the background information they might need when having a foster child under their supervision. In most cases, the background information is not permitted to be released due to issues of confidentiality through legal acts of protection. Yet, this information is often necessary for a teacher in order to fully understand the student’s needs and abilities. The more information a teacher may have on the child, the better equipped the teacher becomes when trying to aid the child’s in his behavior and academic performance.
These struggles are explained by the change in the environment along with the trauma foster children often face:
As the sudden move from a familiar home to an unfamiliar one can be a traumatic experience, children in foster care often struggle with a wide range of overwhelming emotions as they try to adjust to a new home, new set of rules, and new “parents.” Foster children have the extra burden of facing the distractions of being separated from family and loved ones, along with the difficulty of adjusting to a new home, foster family, and an environment that is foreign to them, and not of their choosing. Along with this lies the concern of the foster child’s mental health, as the new environment and the situation the child has been placed in creates the risk of disturbing and disrupting it while in school.
Foster Your Heart Out
The stories of foster children often go untold. In 2015, over 670,000 children in the United States spent time in foster care, a figure which has diminished since an estimate of 800,000 children were in foster care in 2006. Sarah, a new foster parent, who runs the Facebook page Foster Your Heart Out, recently made an emotional post which has since gone viral drawing over six million views.
Court today. I had to keep my hand on something because it was shaking. They all spoke like it was a legal procedure and nothing more. No compassion. “Does anyone want the child? Are you sure? Nobody? Ok, we will be back in a few weeks and finish paperwork.” Meanwhile said “child” is a boy I care very much about. A boy sitting next to me hearing every word. A boy who is trying to wipe away the hot tear rolling down his cheek. We ask them to act like respectful members of society. But we drop them off at strangers homes with everything they own in trash bags and then have them sit through court hearing that would shake any adult. They have to hear nobody wants them or the few people that might are not fit. Then we drop them off at school to handle these emotions. And shake our heads when they are expelled again. We tell them to stay out of trouble and label them as bad kids for outbursts of anger and frustration.
In the below video, I had the opportunity to speak to Sarah about her time in foster care, the situation which inspired the post, and the challenges foster children face. Sarah also details how the process is rewarding for her, even while her husband is overseas serving in the military.
[brid video=”134747″ player=”5260″ title=”Interview With Foster Mom With A Compelling Story”]
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