I attended the first meeting of a foster parent advisory board for our agency. It has me thinking again about how I can do more than just be a foster parent. I started getting distracted by hopes of adoption during our first placement. It's not to say that it's bad to hope for adoption. I hope that children who are adopted are deeply wanted and hoped for. But we realized we wanted to be "career foster parents," maybe not quite the 30-year type, but get a number of years and cases under our belts. Be able to see more of what is going on as a whole and make a greater impact. I pray that instead of being run down by the system, we will have much more to give by hanging on and hanging in there. I pray we will be able to consistently speak up for justice for kids, to get what we need to better care for kids.
The meeting was mainly about foster parent recruitment, support, and retention. I'm very encouraged by the agency employee that is starting this group. She is exactly who we need. It was a small but good group to start things off, then the next meeting will invite any foster parents who want to be involved. Should be interesting. I do feel a little silly about having two years of experience and being in an "advisory" role. It's still really not that much experience. It was a good meeting, though.*
There's also a statewide group of foster parents connecting to speak to legislature, to do more advocacy. I've written my senator about one issue since becoming a foster parent.
What have you done advocacy-wise that wasn't about particular case, but the system?
*Bonus: I figured out one of the other foster parents at the meeting has Pterodactyl's younger siblings. I got to chat with him and see a picture of the babies. The one that looks quite a bit like Pterodactyl also has the same ultra-serious personality. Love it.