We work and serve in a very challenging field, and we can’t avoid acknowledging and responding to the vast injustices our foster children have experienced. However, it is far too easy to forget that these children are just children. They tell me, at the end of the day, they want and think about the same things the other kids in the neighborhood think about, the same things their peers worry about, the same things “normal” kids dream for. And while it is true that our foster kids do indeed have additional complicating factors and concerns–supervised visitation with a biological parent, separation from siblings, life away from the home they knew–they often want to be thought of for other things; things that might seem irrelevant and inconsequential to those working with these kids who know the gravity of their whole situation. To illustrate, these kids follow pop culture, they care about what’s “cool,” they have favorite foods, they laugh and joke with friends…and they also happen to be in foster care. The point, though, is they happen to also be in foster care; they aren’t just about foster care.
Category: Voice of an FCNI Staff
For several years, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Caleb, a young man in a high school group which I helped lead. Over the years, I’ve seen him succeed in getting his high school diploma and begin to navigate the difficult transition to adulthood. At 18 years old, he moved out from his parents’ covering with no job and no clear direction of what to do next. The coming months in his life came with multiple challenges, including a job search that seemed to go nowhere.
This year’s theme for National Social Worker Month, “Forging Solutions out of Challenges,” is amazingly related to Family Care Network’s mission and work, and I was happy to see this connection between my professional organization and my every day work. After fifteen years at FCNI, I appreciate that we continue to develop solutions to address our clients’ most pressing challenges. And as an agency, FCNI is mindful of the fact that all individuals deserve respect, kindness, and opportunities to develop their skills and improve their own lives.
The work of the Family Care Network requires a lot of heart. As an agency which provides an array of human health services—from Emergency Shelter care for kids needing immediate safety to helping teens develop critical life skills to putting homeless families in affordable housing and supporting their efforts to become self-sufficient against numerous obstacles—FCNI utilizes all of the compassion, resolve and resources that our staff and community invest in our mission to meet high-needs on a daily basis. The individuals who dedicate themselves to our efforts do so for a multitude of reasons, but the most prevalent reason seems to be having a heart to serve. We know that many of us couldn’t meet the challenges that face us and the people we serve if our hearts weren’t in it; if we didn’t believe whole-heartedly in what we do and why we do it.
“Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing and finding deeper connection.” -Dr. Sue Johnson
Redemption is a powerful word and concept for myself and my family. A simple definition of redemption is: “To rescue or deliver from.” It is also my short answer to the question, “Why did you adopt?”