Foster care training 101, how we became foster parents 

After going through a nasty divorce I decided to go back to college and make something of myself.  As a young child I dreamed, as many do, of growing up and changing the world for the better. I always thought I would become a teacher or a nurse to make those dreams a reality, but life happened and I ended up getting married shortly out of high school and had a baby.  The divorce was my second chance to make my childhood dreams come true. 

I decided nursing and teaching were not for me but becoming a social worker was my destiny. I started my online classes and ended up finishing my associates right before Todd and I got married.  After our wedding I started thinking about going back to college for my bachelor’s degree.  That’s when God intervened.  One night God spoke to me. His voice was as clear as day. I still get chills thinking about that one sided conversation. I jumped up and told Todd that I felt God was telling me ” Now that you know what these children go through, I want you to house them, love them, protect them,and you will be rewarded with My blessing.” The logical side of me was thinking there is no way. God knows we can’t do this.  I had loans to pay off and if I wanted to further my education I had to go to work so we could afford it. But I knew God wanted us to follow Him, that’s how faith works.  Sometimes God takes us out of our comfort zone that way we rely on Him and only Him.  So without questioning my sanity, Todd took my hand and said “Let’s do this.”  The next morning we had a family meeting and asked Sierra and Devin what they thought about us becoming a foster family.  They of course loved the idea. So as a family we made the decision to step out in faith and become a foster family.   

The next morning I started researching how to become a foster family.  I ended up calling the local DHHR and was directed to a home finding specialist who told me,   “As luck would have it we started a new PRIDE class last Saturday and had a few couples not show up. If you would like I can add you to that class?”  Luck had nothing to do with it, God had a plan and He was making sure it happened.  Just like that we signed up and attended our first class that weekend. That one phone call changed our lives forever.

In WV in order to become a certified foster family you must complete what they call PRIDE TRAINING CLASS.  This takes place over 25 hours in a classroom training. We took our classes on Saturday mornings down at the local college. The classes are designed to “prepare” you or help you understand how to raise kids.  The class covered everything from how to give a child a bath, to eating habits, to abuse, neglect, visitation with the birth parents, court dates, and so on. Basically anything that pertains to the care of a child in foster care it’s covered in class.  We watched videos, studied our books, talked with seasoned foster parents, asked countless questions, had our background checks and our fingers prints ran. And then there’s the paperwork, not going to lie it is a nightmare.  They need to know everything from how many bedrooms you have to what type of car you drive. Then the questions about what type of child would you consider taking in. I kid you not its close to 15 pages of questions like “Would you consider a handicap child?” , “Would you consider a child that wets the bed?, “Would you consider a firestarter?” And of course the “What age and gender do you prefer?” I had to Google many of the things on the list because I had no clue what they were. But I am glad they asked so many questions, it helped us figure out what we thought we could handle and what we knew we could not. Once all of that was over it was time for our home study. They came out made sure we had enough room,checked for smoke detectors and  they talked with our family and our pastor. We were set.  Our classes started in August and by early November we were told by our wonderful instructor we were ready.  I can honestly say I still don’t think we are ready and its been six years lol.  No about of book work or video watching can prepare you for what some of these kids go through.  It is truly awful.  As class wrapped up in early November we were reminded that it could take months before we got a placement call. Over the next few weeks every time the phone rang I jumped. Then one day just two weeks after we finished class my phone rang,”Crystal, this is “Mrs X” with the county DHHR I see here you are open for placement. I have a two month old baby boy can you take him?” 

Some much for  months of waiting 🙂
I will end there today. Check back tomorrow.
From our beautiful chaos to yours have a fantastic evening

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