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Sarah & Andrew Fostering Shower

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    Fostering FAQs

Fostering FAQs

The Wedding Website of Sarah Brown and Andrew Bird
Question

How many youth are in the foster system?

Answer

In Washington State, there are 10,068 children in foster care; 2,167 of these children are waiting for adoptive families. There are only 4,552 licensed foster homes in 2022, which is 600 less homes than 2020. There are multiple types of licensed foster homes in Washington State including: Respite (short-term relief placement), kinship caregivers (caring for youth that you are related to while parents works on reunification), traditional foster care (non-family member caring for youth while family works on reunification), receiving care (up to 30 days for children who need to be placed into protective custody right away).

Question

Will you know the child that gets placed in your home?

Answer

Sarah and Andrew will be placed on a list that is approved to foster youth between the ages of 1-5 and will be notified when youth in that age group need placement. They will be able to review the youth's chart to ensure that they have the necessary set-up at the home to meet behavioral health & physical health needs of the child. If yes, then the youth may be placed in the home immediately.

Question

How long will a youth be in the home?

Answer

Initially, Sarah & Andrew will be taking respite placements, which means that the youth is only temporarily in the home while the youth's primary foster family is given relief for a short period. The respite placements may be 1-night, 2 weeks, up to a few months. Each circumstance is different and the circumstance may change while the youth is in the home. After Sarah & Andrew have gotten their feet wet with Respite Care, they will then seek longer placements with the hope for permanency. Again, each youth and circumstance is different and the goal of foster care is reunification with the youth's biological family.

Question

How long does it take for youth to be adopted?

Answer

That's a hard question. Each youth has a unique situation and circumstances around their foster journey. Washington State focuses on reunification with the biological family whenever possible and requires that any family adopting must first be approved and licensed to foster. Youth may stay in foster care for just a few months or a few years and it is often difficult for the state to determine how long a youth may be in services. There are youth who are legally free from their biological families and Sarah & Andrew will work with their social worker to identify these youth and see if adoption is appropriate. Youth at a certain age are involved in their adoption and can say whether they would like to meet families that are interested in adoption.

Question

When are they expecting their first placement?

Answer

Sarah & Andrew are hoping to have their first placement in early 2024. Sarah must have a 2nd surgery in fall of 2023 and they want to be sure that she is fully recovered prior to youth placements. They are hoping to be approved by the state by the end of 2023, so that when they are ready for placement, they can immediately welcome a child into the home.

Question

How is the youth's privacy protected?

Answer

Privacy is very important for foster youth. Sarah & Andrew will not be able to speak about why the youth has been placed in their home, any information about the parents/biological family, or how long the youth is expected to be in the home. Any pictures online of the youth cannot reference that youth's name or that they are a foster youth. When Sarah & Andrew have met with State & Foster Parents, it was encouraged to talk about being a foster parent with friends & family so that all are aware prior to youth entering our home. People can know that they are foster parents, but specifics cannot be discussed.

Question

Will we be able to go on playdates with the foster youth?

Answer

Yes! Connections with friends, family, and community is incredibly important for foster youth. Foster youth can attend sleepovers, go on camping trips, etc. with the family and Sarah & Andrew are looking forward to many adventures with family and friends.

Question

How can I support Foster youth in my community?

Answer

There are quite a few nonprofits and agencies in Southwest Washington & Washington State dedicated to supporting foster youth & their families. Please check out the links below to learn about just a few: - Fosterful: https://fosterful.org/ - Fosterful volunteers keep children occupied and safe, acting as caring companions and sidekicks when it's needed most, through quality child care - both in the foster home and in the child welfare office. - Bridge the Gap- https://bridgethegapforkidscc.org/ - Bridge the Gap is a community outreach program designed to enrich the lives of abused and neglected children in Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania Counties in SW Washington. To do this, Bridge the Gap provides resources to enhance the stability, growth and success of children in foster and adoptive care. Cloth+Foster - https://clothandfoster.org/ - provides tangible goods for the foster community and to help lighten the burden on social workers, families, and most importantly children experiencing foster care.

Question

How are they preparing for foster kids in the home?

Answer

There are many state regulations and requirements to be approved as a foster or adoptive parent. Andrew & Sarah have been working on getting their home ready for State inspection, including ensure that all alcohol is behind a locked door, all chemicals are inaccessible, stair railings are to code, outlets are covered, and evacuation plans are posted up & downstairs. When a youth arrives in the home, they will need to have quarterly fire drills and regular check-ins with State licensors.

Question

There seem to be a few odd items on the registry, what is that about?

Answer

Sarah & Andrew have been interviewing foster families, attending trainings, and reading lots about fostering and adoption. Some recommendations for the youth that will be in our home include: creating welcome boxes for youth who will be at the home that include stuffed animals, toothbrush, comb, blanket; having a small storage box for each youth that they can keep their drawings/pictures/etc. that they make while in our care; being able to take pictures of their big moments to remember as they grow up or share with family. Some of the other items are to help us get ready to be approved by the state. There are LOTS of regulations around fostering. We will be performing fire drills quarterly, have evacuation plans posted, have all medication locked up & have youth medication locked separately, fire extinguishers on both levels, and more, just to name a few. We appreciate any support in getting our home ready.

Question

How can I learn more about fostering & adoption?

Answer

DCYF (Department of Children, Youth, and Families) has great information about fostering at: https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/foster-parenting/become-a-foster-parent/overview The site will direct you to other agencies if you are interested in learning more about private adoption. https://foster.wachildrenandfamilies.org/about is a nonprofit organization committed to providing education about Washington State Foster care.

Question

Have a question that wasn't listed?

Answer

Sarah & Andrew would be happy to answer your question! Please send them a text or email and they will let you know the answer.

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