By Amy Hojabrolsadati – Foster Care Network Supervisor, Wood’s Homes
Becoming a foster parent is a BIG decision in a family’s life — one that families have been making with Wood’s Homes since our humble beginnings more than 100 years ago. With our support, they’ve opened their homes to infants, children and youth in need of care and we couldn’t be more proud.
At Wood’s Homes, our founder, Reverend George Wood opened his home to the children of a soldier set to go to war. It was fostering in its most raw form. It was one family needing the support from another to ensure that children in need are cared for. Unfortunately, the soldier did not survive the war. His children remained with the reverend from that point on, cared for by George and his wife Annie.
This tradition of supporting families has been ongoing for more than 100 years at Wood’s Homes. Today, our Foster Care Network works diligently to find loving homes for children who need a caring, stable home environment.
So, why foster?
Well, in no particular order, here are the top five reasons to become a Foster Parent.
- Adventure – Becoming a foster parent is an adventure every day, and while some adventures are more fun and exciting than others, the rush of taking on a role that holds so many unknowns and so many opportunities for greatness can lead to an amazing fostering experience.
- Transformation – Viewing transformation in the foster children is amazing. While this takes time and hard work, seeing children in need grow in the way they feel, think, and perceive their place in the world is a great experience for foster parents and one that leads to future promise for everyone involved in the lives of foster children.
- Team – Being a foster parent is being a part of a BIG team! There are many people involved – foster care support workers, case teams, therapists, teachers, advocates, lawyers. The team becomes massive, and with it comes the ability to learn, grow and navigate the many branches of an intricate support network.
- Playing – Coming from an array of rough family situations, many of our children have not experienced ‘playing’ as most people generally understand it. And we need play. Play becomes friendship, fairness, collaboration and FUN! When fostering, parents get the opportunity to teach, or re-teach, this skill to the kids — and let’s be honest; we could all use a bit more time to play!
- Emotion – When you become a foster parent, you will learn about emotion like never before. You will learn to feel your own feelings in a loving way, even the ones you don’t want to. You’ll learn just how empathetic and supportive you can be. Likely, you’ll feel more giving than you ever knew you could be. You’ll learn how to invite others in to your home, heart and family.
As children come and go, our families know that they will always be a part of someone’s life story and we at Wood’s Homes are eternally grateful for their generosity, strength and willingness to help those in need.
Click here more information about the Wood’s Homes Foster Care Network.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!
Wood’s Homes is a nationally accredited mental health centre – proudly helping communities for over 100 years. Learn more at woodshomes.ca.