Saying “Goodbye” to a Child in Foster Care
There are so many positives in the overall fostering experience, but it also comes with several unique challenges. One such challenge is the often inevitable issue of saying goodbye to a foster child. Unlike adoption, fostering often comes with an ending point; either as a child ages out of the system or is reunited with their birth family. This can be a challenging situation for you to be in, as well as distressing for both yourself and your foster child. As such, it is vital to understand and develop a coping method for saying goodbye to a foster child. It’s not always easy, but learning to cope is the hallmark of a good foster parent.
Keep a positive attitude
One of the only ways to deal with the overall experience of saying goodbye to a foster child is to keep a positive attitude. Think of all the good experiences and positive impacts you have had on their lives. After all, without you, they could be in a very different situation than the one they are moving on to. And if you are feeling the loss of saying goodbye to your foster child, remember that you will be able to experience all of those beautiful things again soon with another child. Enriching, shaping, and helping their lives in just the same way as a role model, staying positive can also help to rally your family or whoever else might be experiencing a similar reaction to saying goodbye to a foster child.
Don’t alarm the child
The last thing you want to do when saying goodbye to a foster child is to make them aware that anything is wrong. Instead, the experience needs to be as stress-free as possible for the child. Sometimes, no matter how hard it may feel, it means keeping the tears at bay to do so. It may sound cliche, but staying strong one final time is vital when saying goodbye to your foster child. But it is okay to let them know you’ll miss their presence in a healthy way!
Deal with the grief
Losing a foster child can often feel like a more significant loss. As such, you must give yourself time to grieve and process the loss. Both for yourself and your family as a whole because grief can be a shared experience that you all power through together. Saying goodbye to a foster child is a legitimate reason for the feeling of loss, so don’t be afraid to admit to and deal with these feelings.
Kansas Care Provider of the Month
Thaddeus and Julie Moberg are the Kansas Care Providers for January! Recently, they invited a child’s biological mother to stay overnight for Christmas so they could spend the holiday together. They are a great example of valuing the biological family connection. Thank you, Thaddeus and Julie!
In December, Kansas had seven foster parent holiday parties throughout the state. Due to COVID, for the past two years virtual parties were the only option provided for our foster parents. Families and staff were very excited to be back in person! We had numerous businesses, churches, and other community providers assist our staff in conducting our Christmas parties this year. We are thankful for each one! We also had numerous businesses, individuals, churches, and schools, adopt the children we serve for Christmas, ensuring they all received gifts for the holiday season.
We NEED Professional Foster Parents!
Some of our State’s most vulnerable children are in residential treatment centers or at risk of having nowhere to call home. Having a parental caregiver can help these vulnerable children achieve emotional and behavioral stability, heal from their trauma, and move towards permanency. TFI Texas’s Professional Foster Care program equips parents with the necessary tools to provide the care and structure children need in a family home environment. Children can achieve amazing levels of healing when their needs are met by creative, consistent, and committed caregivers.
Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month
The Bridges have been fostering with TFI since 2021. Their most recent placements, a sibling set of two, proved challenging as one of the children had behaviors out of the ordinary; however, the Bridges were up to the task. As they patiently waited for services to be available in their area, the Bridges worked with the child offering consistent love and support, thus enabling the child to succeed in their home. Understanding the importance of maintaining connections to kin, culture, and community, the Bridges made themselves accessible for phone/video calls multiple times a week. In addition, they arranged face-to-face visitation with the biological family on their own. As a result, the children have recently reunited with their biological family thanks partly to the Bridges’ support. The Bridges traveled over six hours one way to assist in getting the boys home. They have been an exemplary example of what it means to foster!
TFI Oklahoma hosted six Christmas parties serving over 20 families from Enid to Lawton and many towns in between. Santa makes a list; we check it twice to ensure ALL children have a great holiday!
Supporting Your Child’s Culture When It’s Different From Yours
Being a foster parent is hard. Being a foster parent to a child, you can’t relate to can be even harder. Take a few minutes to read the article and complete the questionnaire.
Happy New Year!
Our team is excited about the new year and all the opportunities to help provide more for the kids we serve. We’re so grateful for the folks who gave to support foster families at our events this fall – we received nearly $250,000 in support through the second half of last year for the things we do to help kids.
As we prepare for the new year, we have lots of golf tournaments we’ll be putting on from Topeka to Wichita Falls, let us know if you have any connections with golfers!
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any contacts, questions, or fun stories of generosity at 918.894.8727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | email@example.com
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 | email@example.com
Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.
Thaddeus & Julie Moberg
Josh & Julie Egermeier
Kayne & Joni Molzahn
Bryan & Meryl Pumphrey
Christopher & Holly Herriman
Jamie & Judith Wright
Cody & Julia McCully
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