A child placement agency
253-759-3650 or 360-836-0253

An Open Letter
to Prospective Foster Parents

Children need positive role models they can identify with to demonstrate satisfying and productive lifestyles. Living in a healthy family is the best way to provide that training. Lorene's Place II was founded in response to the shortage of foster homes in the greater Tacoma area and throughout the Puget Sound; particularly the lack of culturally appropriate placements for ethnic minority children.

Children may think something is wrong with them, when their relatives or families of their own ethnic group can't provide care. When young, or used to abuse and neglect, they have no idea why they aren't home. They worry about their little relatives who are left behind, or placed in other homes. The children who reported abuse feel responsible for the family breakup, and for being taken away.

Children in foster care have lost everything. Imagine moving to a new city, all alone, with no possessions. The moving company lost all of your possessions. Even your address book is gone because sometimes caseworkers can’t permit contact without risk to the child.

Fostering is a true act of love. When done right, you meet the needs of the child without expecting the child to meet your needs. Foster care is temporary care. One day at a time of quality care to build healthy bodies and attitudes, hope for the future, and good life skills. Children often refuse to form attachments if mistreated or moved too many times. They hurt our feelings and drain our energy.  Some are fourth or fifth generation to be placed out of the home. We only have a short time to break these cycles.

Foster children often arrive with the "bad habits" they used to survive. If they have been battered, they may lie. If they have been hungry, they may steal or hide things. We can't judge; we aren't sure they won't need those skills again to stay alive. We have found ways to teach constructive behaviors in safe situations and help children tell the difference. Sometimes we think we let these children down, or they don't care about us. We find out years later we taught them something that made a big difference and helped them out.

As we teach the importance of family, they want their own family to get well - dreaming their "real" parents or relatives will come for them.  The caseworker's role is to help the "other" family recover.  If successful, the child will get to go home or the child may "get to" stay with us.  We help the child understand their parents may love them but be unable to provide care. We cannot put their other parents down. When the child expresses grief or anger, we respect the child's emotions, and SUPPORT WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. The message we convey is, we believe the child and the child's abilities.

Sometimes we can't connect or meet the child's needs, or we come to love them and they are taken away with little explanation, a "temporary child" may never leave.  Not every family has the motivation and flexibility to hand the changes.  It takes a strong ego to deal with a child's rejection, or to say "I'm stuck and don't know what to try next."  We are your agency, we will be available to talk things through and help figure out ways to meet the child's needs.  We will listen to you, share your concerns, hard times, and victories.

If the child is fortunate enough to be in therapy, we provide training on supporting the therapeutic process. Learning as much as we can about the child's background and listening to the behaviors and situations you describe, we help you understand and support the healing.

Foster children will challenge you to enrich your life. It's like keeping a garden, the time and energy invested pays off. Sharing a loving environment is a wonderful gift for a child. Helping a child grow healthier is an opportunity to make a difference in the future of your community.

We look forward to working with you in becoming a foster parent and when you are a foster parent.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent.

Yours truly,

Jacqueline E Tutt, MA
Executive Director
Lorene's Place II 

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Lorene's Place II
10527 Kendrick St. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
253-759-3650 or 360-836-0253

Non-Profit Organization in the State of Washington

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