Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Foster Parents Speak

Foster Parents Speak is a short documentary from PhotoSynthesis Productions which features several real-life foster parents speaking candidly about their experiences serving kids in the system. Although the film does appear dated, the content of the interviews continues to be relevant and valuable to incoming foster parents, without falling into cliché. One foster parent advises that there’s an important shift for foster parents to make away from “that’s mine” to “that’s ours.” One reminds new parents that foster parenting “takes more than love.” One reassures that the good “always outweighed the negative.”

The film covers a range of important topics for incoming foster parents to consider; birth parent relationships, a child’s reunion with their birth family, empathy for the birth parents, monitored visitation, and cooperation with other foster parents and family service professionals are all thoughtfully discussed. One foster parent reflects on her time as a foster parent with gratitude, “I have grandkids and children that I’d never thought I’d have.” Foster parents are encouraged to know that experienced foster parents believe that it is worth it, and they’re promised, “You will get your joy!”

Foster Parents Speak is part of a trio of foster-adoption training videos that will find a home in the training curricula of foster and adoption agencies. The other two films are Gay Parents Speak and Struggle for Identity. Gay Parents Speak features several foster and adoptive parents speaking candidly and optimistically about their experiences. Struggle for Identity features a group of young, transracially-adopted adults sharing honestly about the difficult aspects of being adopted transracially, and has been a part of the trainings I’ve presented to prospective foster and adoptive parents for the past decade. These videos are worth considering as part of a foster family agency’s onboarding training for new foster and adoptive parents.

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