Foster care and adoption exist because of a gap. A gap between a child and their birth parents ability to care for them. As with any gap, challenge, obstacle, or trial, there is inevitably a gift waiting for those that chose to be a part of the solution. Those who choose to do something hard.
And foster adoptive parents can tell you, it gets hard. In part because of the many gaps that exist not only in their relationship with their children, but within the systems they must navigate in order to provide children a home. In this weeks episode of the Mama’s Well Podcast we talk with DeJuana Jernigan, President of Arms Wide Adoption Services and President of the Texas Foster Care Association, about some of the biggest gaps that parents and children face including:
The Financial Gap – Did you know that there’s a financial disincentive for children to move from a highly special needs category to one with lower needs? While it’s understandable that families dealing with highly special needs kids need additional funding, there is a Catch 22 that exists with helping them progress in their most challenging areas.
The Prevention Gap – As with most initiatives directed towards any social issue, most programming is reactive in nature. The primary goals relate to dealing with children once they are in the system. There is a huge need (gap) in relation to bio-family support and programs designed to support the bio-family nucleus.
The Minority Gap – There are a disproportionate amount of African American children in the foster care system. This creates a huge need for foster / adoptive families of color. And while a loving home can be provided for any human by any other human, there are important considerations when taking on children of different race and heritage.
DEEPER DOWN THE WELL
Learn more about Arms Wide It Takes a Village initiative here
Arms Wide also has a great resource page
(https://www.armswideadoption.org/services/resources/ ) Where you can find loads of helpful information on all things foster care and adoption