Ever since we adopted our first older children out of foster care, I have seen ways in which foster care is not being done right. From a county or agency stand point, there seem to be more failures than successes. And I've always wanted to do something about it.
This is brand new and we are very excited. We are beginning with the Metro Area and Mankato, but are looking to expand to the Willmar area and possibly even Duluth. We have met with some key individuals, have a contract to provide the services, and now all we need is for families to sign up.
Here are the options (cutting and pasting from a Bethany document I wrote):
Shelter Foster Care - We are building a program to offer foster care to children immediately after they are removed from their current home situation. This care can extend anywhere from 72 hours to 90 days and will involve transportation to school, visits, doctors appointments and possibly court hearings. Preferably famiies would be within 45 minutes of the metro and need to be open to placements at very short notice.
Respite Homes - Adoptive parents sometimes need a break to rest, recover and regroup when parenting challenging children. Respite homes develop a relationship with a family to provide care for their children on an as needed basis, typically a weekend a month or possibly a night of the week on a weekly basis. For Respite Home Care, there is no requirement that one of the adults be a stay at home parent, so this provides flexibility within your family structure.
Traditional and Therapeutic Foster Care: Traditional and Therapeutic Foster Care are longer term placements and can last anywhere from a few days to a few years.
There is no financial cost to be licensed for any of these programs and there is a stipend that varies depending on length of stay, type of care given, and the needs of the child. Interested families will be required to attend training that fulfills the statutory requirements of the MN Dept of Human Services as well as the State of Minnesota.
I am sure many of you are thinking that I'm nuts to even think that people would want to do foster care, especially after they have adopted. But those of us who have BTDT are the best.
- We recruit and train in a Christian environment
- We have adoption-competent, well-trained, trauma-informed Christian staff
- We aim to support our families better than anyone else
- We want to offer a continuum of care for kids in Bethany homes from time of removal to reunification or adoption finalization.
- We will work to engage the churches our families attend to supporting our families
You can be cynical in your comments if you'd like, but I hope that some of you might actually join me in getting excited about how powerful it would be to have excellent foster homes throughout the state with training and support guided by me and my awesome staff, which now includes Brenda Benning (not like I"m name dropping or anything).