Reunification

Layne Hedden May 04, 2022

“I could never give them back." 

I often hear this – or something similar – when I tell people we foster. I get it. The idea of opening your heart and becoming attached to a child, knowing that the goal is for that child to eventually leave your home sounds painful. It is. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

When children come into care, reunification is the primary goal. We know that outcomes are better for children when they can safely remain with or return to family. Of course, each case is different, but unless a judge determines otherwise, the purpose of foster care is to provide temporary care for children until their parents can remedy the situation.

“There are countless misconceptions about foster care, one is that foster care is a punishment. It is not! Foster care is a support system to help families when they cannot provide a safe environment for their children. People fall on hard times, many families don’t have strong support systems. So it is important to remember that foster care is here to allow people the time to gain the resources and skills to better support their children.” (https://www.togetherwerise.org/blog/primary-goal-foster-care-reunification/)

The truth is that it is a privilege to care for these children for even a tiny portion of their lives. It is an honor and a joy to stand in the gap and be their family until they can return to their own biological family. Does that mean it’s easy? Definitely not. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

When someone says “I would get too attached,” author and foster parent Jason Johnson replies, “Then you would be great at it.” We agree!

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