“Mommy, Where Are They Taking Me?” – When A Child Enters Foster Care

It’s the middle of the night.  Sleeping.  You awake to someone leading you out of your bed.  Stranger.  Scared, your eyes dart around the room looking for familiar faces.  There’s one.  Mom.  But she’s talking frantically with a lady.  Mom hands Stranger a big black bag with something in it.

You get on your coat, mom is still talking to that lady.  Mom turns and kneels, “Everything is going to be okay, honey.  You’ll go with this lady and you’re going to stay with some nice people for awhile while mommy and daddy get some help.  (Wait, where’s Daddy?) I will visit with you very soon.”  You try to object.  You whisper a soft “when, Mommy?”  She doesn’t hear.  You don’t have words for what’s happening or how you feel.  You go.  Confused.  Frightened.

What’s next?  What’s even happening?  Not all child removals are just like this, but every child entering into care has questions like, “What did I do?   Where are my parents?  My brother?  Who are these people?  Where am I going?  Am I safe?  Will I get fed?  Where will I stay?”

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25:40

Child Intake Care Center - Foster Care Closet
Intake Care Center Play Area

How We Introduce a Child to Foster Care

A child being placed in foster care has many needs as well.  Not the least of which is compassionate care from those helping them navigate this very traumatic experience.  They need to understand what’s happening and why.  Often, they come with only the clothes on their backs.  They are usually hungry.  They come, in tow, with a caseworker who is probably over-worked and frantically looking for a place for this child to go.  This process can take hours and hours.  Hours just sitting there, wondering, hurting, crying…

Intake Care Center
Meeting and hangout spaces at the Child Intake Care Center

At the Child Intake Center, the Foster Care Closet staff treat their “guests” with dignity.  The Center is quiet, peaceful, home-like.  There are toys and couches.  Intake staff will run and get the child their favorite meal.  We talk to them and meet their needs.  We don’t try to explain what’s going on with their situation.  We love them.  That love softens the incredible blow foster children are dealt.  The Foster Care Closet Intake Center ensures that the child has new clothes to wear and the necessities...toothbrush, soap and other toiletries are packaged with new outfits to wear to school tomorrow in an age-appropriate backpack.  Our prayer is that these children will feel some dignity.  That tomorrow, when the day is new, perhaps their hope that they will make it through this ordeal is also renewed, and they can face the next day.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month

If you would like to join the Foster Care Closet in their work, there are many ways in which you can.  Please consider making a monthly contribution of just $25/month.  Your donation will help provide for the clothing 1 child receives while in Foster Care.


 

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