Most of us find it hard to imagine the challenges that face children in the foster care system, as it has often been a concept that we’ve heard about, but haven’t had an opportunity to immerse ourselves in. For children, suddenly moving homes, changing guardians and facing the challenges of an unknown future create an incredible amount of fear and anxiety.
J Hawk and Rob C catch up with Sarah Desjarlais – a foster parent and community activist, who found herself in a meeting at the child welfare offices of her hometown in Vancouver, Washington planning a graduation party for the class of 2013. It was during that meeting that Sarah witnessed a little boy sitting in a conference room.
I was up next for an intake, it was “law enforcement waiting,” so I grabbed my bag and went! I was greeted by a sibling set whose mother had been taken to jail. I looked down at the kids and said “Mommy has to get better, so you guys are coming with me.”
This week, like many other weeks, one volunteer found herself holding a days-old baby for a few hours at the child welfare office. Feeling all the feels that come with that experience – joy, fullness, sadness, helplessness, wonderment and despair – all very much at once, she did what came naturally to her…but what affect could that eventually have?
During our November board meeting, the question was posed: what are you most proud of in the last decade? My mind swirled. How can I pick one thing? The word fullness came to mind.
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families office in downtown Vancouver has narrow hallways and a lot of closed doors. Big decisions are made in these rooms.
With five years under our belt, 2018 was all about building sustainability. Our board knew that Office Moms & Dads needed stewardship to magnify its impact and continue helping children for years to come; and so the focus shifted from growing by desire to growing by design.
Imagine being a child whose family is in trauma. You’ve just been pulled out of your home. You’re sitting in an office wondering what’s going to happen to you. You’re scared and upset. Whatever has just gone on, you just want to go home.
Questions are a lifelong struggle for children who have come through the foster care system. In this edition, our guest blogger, foster mom and former Office Mom discusses the struggle of raising kids with a redacted history.
[Vancouver, WA] – Office Moms & Dads, a local nonprofit serving children entering foster care, has been awarded a $25,000 Focus Grant from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. These funds will be leveraged with in-kind work from Hint Consulting (a local software developer) to create and implement an app that will greatly enhance the organization’s ability to orchestrate and support volunteers working with foster kids.