By Marsha Messer, Case Manager, KVC West Virginia. Marsha has worked in child welfare for 18 years. Over the course of her career, she has consistently dedicated herself to children and families in need. Her experience has shown her that foster parents deserve the utmost admiration and respect for what they do.
Foster parents are superheroes in disguise. Some of them just don’t know it.
Being a foster parent can be a roller coaster of a journey emotionally. When a child is put in your care due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges, feelings of excitement, eagerness, elation and maybe some anxiety rush through you all at once. Foster parents welcome children in need into their homes and make them a part of the family. This bonding is so important and good both for the child and the foster family. But it can make it difficult for a foster parent to say goodbye when it becomes safe for a child to return to their birth parents, relatives or go to an adoptive family.
Foster parents work tirelessly to make sure a child’s experience is positive while in their care. This is to reduce the roller coaster of emotions he or she is going through as well. When a child leaves a foster family, there are often feelings of sadness. Yet, nothing compares to seeing a child reunited with their family, especially after their family has worked hard to overcome difficulties. While initially difficult for a foster parent, a child returning home is a wonderful thing that is uplifting and rewarding in the end. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that there is likely another child who will have the same need for love and care, allowing for more enriching experiences.
If you’re considering becoming a foster parent, know that nothing compares to how you’ll personally grow by caring for children in need. Supporting families involved in the child welfare system isn’t always easy, but the rewards of foster parenting always outweigh those challenges.
Foster parents perform some of the most important work in our society and should be commended and honored every day. They truly are superheroes.
Did you know that children enter West Virginia foster care through no fault of their own? Foster care provides safety for a child who has experienced abuse, neglect or other family challenges. There are thousands of children in need, and one of the best ways to help is to become a foster parent in West Virginia. Visit our How to Become a Foster Parent page. You can also donate, volunteer or contact one of our staff members with any questions.