Thinking of foster parenting in Oregon, input? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have thought about this for the past few years, and now I am wondering if I should get the ball rolling. I was hoping to get some POV from others that have BTDT or maybe just have knowledge of foster parenting.

 

The main reasons I was going to wait were: Fear of the parents of the children we were fostering would wish ill upon us, most worried about safety of our son. I do not even know if this is a "real" concern just something that scared me.

 

What would we do with the child if we went on vacation out of city/state?

 

We would only like under 3 since I think it would be easier for our son (he is 8) is that possible?

 

I am considering it more now than later because I nanny in the morning and watch kids part time out of my home. I feel like i have kids here all the time, and I looked up the income for fostering and I think I could come out around the same if I just foster. Is it pretty steady, or could I go months without income?

 

Any other things you can think of that I should think about? Thank you SO much!!!

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#2 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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The foster care stipend is not income. It's reimbursement for the care and activities of each child placed in your home. It is not intended to replace income required to maintain your household. Depending on the child's needs you might have some money left over, but that's not a guarantee. I don't know about Oregon, but some states require you to purchase a certain amount of clothing and toys each month. Mine doesn't but it's very possible. You will likely put extra miles on your car. You might be required (or wish) to transport the child to visits. The child might have a lot of appointments (doctors, therapy, etc) that your bio doesn't have. I've fostered and nannied and they aren't the slightest bit comparable. Each has it's rewards but fostering is completely differerent. You will be responsible for the 24 hour care of a child who may have significant needs.The child's parents might make things difficult for you (either directly or indirectly) or not. You just never know. I've fostered for 4 1/2 years, adopted two of my foster children, and am hoping to get a new foster placement soon. There's a big message board for foster parents. You might want to check it out. A few MDC moms also post there. It's often gritty but I think it's important to hear all sides of what fostering can, or will, be like. It's www.fosterparents.com. This board is also a great resource. (SORRY FOR THE LONG SUBMITPARAGRAPH. I'm having problems with this site today.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ve.

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#3 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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My nieghbor is a foster parent and her stipend doesnt even begin to cover the 'costs' associated with fostering.  Right now she has a toddler and a 5 yr old.  Both have numerous Dr's appointments and therapies. Some of those are in-home and some she needs to drive to.  She needs to take the kids to supervisied visits with the bio-parents.  The 5 yr old is in developmental preschool a couple hrs 2 days a week (she transports).  Foster parents are required to attend court hearings, be home for social worker visits, provide food, clothing, shelter (beds etc). 

My neighbor loves fostering but she never 'breaks even'. 

She treats the foster kids just like her own.  For example EVERYONE gets new shoes, EVERYONE gets the same easter basket, EVERYONE gets a snack at the store.  EVERYONE gets swim lessons.  Its not like her kids get new shoes and the foster kids get thrift stuff or her kids get stride rite and the foster kids get target shoes.  Everyone is even in the house.

Another thing to keep in mind is the foster kids come to you with issues.  You dont know if you are going to be up all night with a kid having nightmares, a kid with behavioral issues, a 4 yr old who isnt potty trained etc.

 

Just something to think about.


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#4 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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I wrote this huge post then my iPhone ate it.grrr

I basically asked if you has thought about doing respite care for other foster parents. We love it, gives us an opportunity to learn more from the local foster-adoption community & my kids participate in all of it as well.

You have to be a licensed foster parent and the same rules apply, you only have the kiddo for a short while (for us usually anywhere from 2hrs to 72 hrs) we only take little ones between birth & 2 right now.

Just thought I'd throw that out as an option. I'm in WA & I know they are always in need of good respite care providers.

Good luck to you!!

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
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#5 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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I am a foster parent. But I can't recommend it to anyone. Simply put, the system is broken.

 

My experience has been that the case workers and their supervisors do not know the law. And when they do know the law, they break it anway if it suits their interests. They cannot be relied upon to give accurate information or helpful advice. They are almost always late with everything (visits, paperwork, calling you back, etc.). They are emotionally manipulative. They contradict each other and themselves. They go back on their word.

 

The kids are fine. They're great, really. Ours is easy-peasy (probably because he's had the stability of living in our home for his whole life). The stipend is adequate. And once you learn the ropes, you can find free things for foster kids all over the place.

 

But I thought things had changed since I was a kid. Things haven't really changed at all. It's still competely broken.

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#6 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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I'll agree that parts of the system are really broken and that there are some bad case workers, judges, and foster parents out there. I've never encountered them, though. I totally love everyone at my DSS office and think that everyone has the kids best interest at heart. Even when it's tough.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

I am a foster parent. But I can't recommend it to anyone. Simply put, the system is broken.

 

My experience has been that the case workers and their supervisors do not know the law. And when they do know the law, they break it anway if it suits their interests. They cannot be relied upon to give accurate information or helpful advice. They are almost always late with everything (visits, paperwork, calling you back, etc.). They are emotionally manipulative. They contradict each other and themselves. They go back on their word.

 

The kids are fine. They're great, really. Ours is easy-peasy (probably because he's had the stability of living in our home for his whole life). The stipend is adequate. And once you learn the ropes, you can find free things for foster kids all over the place.

 

But I thought things had changed since I was a kid. Things haven't really changed at all. It's still competely broken.



 

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#7 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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In my state, people definitely do foster for the income, which in a poor family can bridge the gap between affording a SAHM and having to have mom work a minimum-wage with all the attendant childcare issues. It's common. I would say it is expected. It's not what you are "supposed" to do, obviously, but it's certainly a possibility. And I think that as long as you are giving the foster kiddos love and treating all kids equally, it doesn't matter if everybody gets their shoes from Target. 

 

The next step would be for your and your DH to attend whatever kind of orientation/training they have in OR, and see what you think after that. Good luck! 

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#8 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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What happens when that family doesn't have a placement??????

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#9 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Well, if your system is anything like the one where I live, contact them right away and decide what you're doing later.  I contacted them in October when we felt "ready" and have yet to have gotten anywhere!  They keep waiting to schedule an orientation meeting for people who are interested.  Seriously, 5 months and there isn't a date set yet for orientation about what foster parenting is like in our area.

 

On a happier note, I talked to the SW a little while ago about it and she affirmed that they do want more families coming on board soon (as some families will be "retiring") but that they have generally not been short on foster parents so it isn't like the system in our area is overwhelmed and in desperate need of more foster parents.

 

Tjej

 

 

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#10 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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"What happens when that family doesn't have a placement??????"

 

Mom goes back to work at Wal-Mart, kids into whatever jerry-rigged childcare solution the parents and extended family can work out. 

 

But in my state (so close to you geographically, but oh so far in terms of social progress), not having a placement isn't so much of a problem, if you are open to a variety of ages. 

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