Friday, April 4, 2008

A New Training Class

Last night I started a training for a new class of foster/adoptive parents. It is a small group after last time, only about a third as many participants. But it is a good class, there doesn't seem to be a lot of naivety, they were not shocked by the some of the stories and they asked good questions.
One question that is always asked is whether very young foster/adoptive children (not infants) have issues from the abuse and neglect that they suffered. And I have to explain that for many of the children the abuse begins even before birth when the mother is drinking or drugging and the long term effects on the baby's brain. People also do not want to struggle with the idea that small children are getting hurt by their parents and they would prefer to think that the children "forget" or "get over it" just because they are young.
I assure my families that I train that I do not sugarcoat anything, it is all painfuly real in my classes. That has scared away some folks but better for them to be scared away before they have a child in the home then for them to be one more failed placement for these kids.
Sometimes I even depress myself though, we are such a dark place with 2 out of our 3 adopted children living away from home in treatment facilities, and our last foster care placement ending in a traumatic reunification with the birth parents. I am not exactly the most positive person to be representing the foster/adoptive system right now.
I will try not to scare away this new crop of potential families as they are so desperately needed.
PS the picture doesn't have much to do with anything, just a happier time in our family.

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