When I was in the process of becoming a licensed foster parent back in 2013, I had a hard time finding practical information on what to expect and how to best prepare for this new adventure. Much of what I found made foster parents sound either like monsters or like angels. Most of what comes out in the news about foster care focuses on the brokenness of the system: kids who fall through the cracks, foster parents who are abusive, etc. But what about the day-to-day ins & outs of the life of a foster family?
Once we started our first placement, we began our crash course in all things “foster care.” After six months with our children, I felt compelled to begin sharing from my limited experience, in hopes that I could offer others like myself some practical insight in order to help them feel more equipped/informed. So I started making videos, and for six years, my YouTube channel served as a resource for foster parents and agencies in the US and beyond. After finalizing our fifth adoption and moving to Virginia, I decided to shut down my YouTube channel and step back from being a public foster parent figure, mainly out of respect for my kids’ privacy, but also because I did not have the bandwidth to be devoted to their needs and continue managing a YouTube channel. Meanwhile, I hosted The Flourishing Foster Parent from 2019-2020, amassing a library of audio recordings of live “Coaching Calls,” providing members insight and information from experienced foster parents and professionals in fields related to foster care.
I hope that these resources will continue to be helpful to new and prospective foster parents. I have said many times that foster parenting is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done. I still say that. I just hope that my resources can help it be a little less hard for those who step up to the plate on behalf of the thousands of children in out-of-home care who need not only a safe and stable home environment, but a caregiver who understands the toll trauma takes on a child’s emotional, mental, and even physical well-being.