EARLY YEARS: May is Foster Care Month in Virginia
The month of May is Foster Care Month in Virginia. We're continuing to share the stories of people who are taking the huge step of bringing a child into their homes
With so much uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to adapt to a new normal.
"We're adapting. And that's what these kids in foster care do every day of their lives. They're having to adapt to new schools, new homes," says foster parent recruiter Jason Masching.
We're gaining a better understanding of what foster kids live with every day. HopeTree Family Services has adapted to these times, too, by offering more online foster parent training.
Teresa Creswell has already completed her six- week course. With two grown children, Creswell says she didn't consider fostering until her daughter had a baby.
"They stayed with me a while after the baby was born. And they moved out once their home was ready, that's when I really started to think seriously about maybe this is something I could do," says Creswell.
Now that she's finishing the application process, Creswell is excited about getting a child. Still, she has one concern.
"Will I be able to handle this? And am I going to be what the child that they place me with needs?"
Priscilla Price is also a foster applicant. As an intensive in-home worker, foster care is familiar territory for her, but she says the training helped.
"It helps you to balance the home. It teaches you how to do discipline as well as coping skills, as well as when you know that you need a break as an adult, and when you just have to take a breather," says Price.
She's also learned what foster kids, and all kids, need the most.
"Every child needs love, and they need the stability of a home and knowing someone's going to be there and support them. And honestly, that's what they're looking for," Price says.
Price says she's wanted to adopt since she was very young. Fostering to adopt is also Creswell's plan. Both encourage anyone who's thinking of fostering to take that leap of faith.
"It's a long process. Do it. Just do it. It is a need. Not only in our community, but worldwide it's a need. It's just a need."
You can read more about foster parent training by heading to HopeTree Family Services'