17 May Reuniting Families Through Foster Care
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, where we celebrate the great service that our foster parents pay to their community by inviting foster children into their homes. Since our founding in 1981, CHRIS 180 has served foster children throughout the state of Georgia that are in the custody of the Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS). These children, who range in ages, have been separated from their families for a variety of reasons and our foster parents step in to parent them during this season of need. While DFCS’ first plan is to reunite a child with their family, in the meantime they search for the best temporary placement for children.
Recently, two CHRIS 180 Gateway to Adoption parents David and Larry were able to stand in this gap over the last year and care for a sibling group of three.
What is Gateway To Adoption?
Through our Gateway to Adoption program, CHRIS 180 reunites siblings who have been separated from each other while in state custody. This program not only reunites siblings, but it also wraps them in the support services necessary to address their educational, physical, social and mental health needs. It helps them overcome issues that may be barriers to finding their forever home.
Foster Parents Help Three Children Overcome Struggles
In one of our Gateway homes, the three children in this sibling group came with their own trauma, histories and struggles. They were a challenging group of kids who had been through a lot, and you could see it in their behaviors. From running away, to lying and even bullying each other, each of the boys had struggles they had to work through. They had not all lived together in many years, and they had to learn all over again what it meant to be siblings. Foster parents David and Larry provided them the space to do just that and thrive.
Sibling Group Will Be Reunited With Their Mother
By offering them a loving and therapeutic environment they were able to grow in tremendous ways. They did not just spend their time in foster care waiting on their mother to work her case plan, but they gained coping mechanisms and techniques to help them overcome the challenges of everyday life. Additionally, they were able to experience traveling to New York City and Disney World for the first time. We are proud to announce their mother has secured housing, completed her case plan, and the boys are scheduled to reunite with her this summer! We are so excited for this family to be whole again, and so grateful for the roles David and Larry played in making this dream a reality.
If you have any questions pertaining to adoption or foster care, please visit CHRISadoptions.org.
Erica Kaufman, MSW is the Program Director of CHRIS 180’s Adoption and Foster Care Program