Sometimes difficult childhoods can drive people to become change-makers as adults. For Devon, that has meant fostering nearly two dozen kids with her husband James over the last several years. Together they have cared for infants, young children, school-age kids, tweens and teens. Through it all, they’ve provided support, guidance, and plenty of love. Amara
“Relationships are what change people.” Shrounda Selivanoff, a parent and kinship caregiver who also is the Director of Public Policy at the Children’s Home Society of Washington shared this important truth as a panelist at our Speaking of Change conversation on “How Parent and Caregiver Partnerships Can Help Children Thrive.” Amara’s Speaking of Change
We believe in the power of relationships. Sarah, Josh, and Samantha show us that amazing things happen when all of the adults – regardless of whether they are foster parents, family members, or parents – are supported to be there for youth.
By the time Yuvia came to stay with Yvette she had already been in multiple foster homes. But this was different. Yuvia’s mother, Dezaray, and foster parent Yvette developed a support system with and for each other in order to be there for Yuvia. Like Yuvia says, “When we’re all here together, I think: family,
“I feel like our lives have been really enriched, but it was always in the purpose of keeping the girls connected to their people. That has felt like we’ve forged really amazing relationships with their birth families and it’s been incredible.” Watch Katie and Caitlin’s journey as foster and adoptive parents.
Too often in foster care, I’ve seen “saviorism attitudes”, where the focus is on the foster parents and how their actions “saved” the child in their care. But foster care isn’t about saving a child – or even saving a family. It’s about coming alongside another family and doing the messy work of building real relationships.
“Our situation is unique,” says Jonathan Biron about the close relationship his family has with their son Grayson’s biological family. “But it doesn’t have to be.”
With a critical openness to birth families, and through the difficulty of reunification, the Shafer Family’s commitment to supporting their children is inspiring!
Through challenges and uncertainties, the Swanson-Diamond family persist and thrive together!