Did you know that ordinary people can do extraordinary things?
Opening your home and heart to a foster child is a wonderful life changing experience. Filled with challenges as well as opportunities to make a significant, positive impact in the lives of our most vulnerable children, fostering provide a loving, safe, and stable environment for children who are in need of protection and support as a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect by their family of orgin. With over 15,000 children currently in North Carolina’s foster care system, ages ranging from birth to 18 years old, foster parents are in high demand.
Foster parent Sherida Richardson says, “What I like best about being a foster parent is the joy and love shown in the eyes of a child. When a child can have a place to call home and have a family, it is priceless. It has strengthened me and my family's decision to move forward from fostering to adoption.”
Foster parents provide temporary homes for children until they can be safely reunited with their biological families, which is the goal. Unfortunately, there are times when reunification is no longer possible. Foster parents then have the ability to provide permanency for the child through adoption, giving a child his or her forever home.
When Fayetteville’s own Lisa Newland became a foster parent through the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, she knew she wanted to make a difference. "I look at fostering as giving back to my community by giving the children of these misfortunes a chance to have as much of a normal life as possible by providing a loving, nurturing, and structured environment so they can thrive until they are reunited with their families. The most rewarding part of fostering is knowing that I have made an impact in these children’s lives, teaching them skills as basic as personal hygiene or how to tie their shoes that they will remember long after they leave my home. Just to know I made a contribution in their future is enough for me."
Misfortunes do not discriminate on race, gender, age, or economic status. In the foster care system, teenagers are subject to rejection because of their age, making it difficult to find a home. The needs for teenagers in foster care vary, from teaching independent living skills to providing a home during the holiday breaks for a foster child in college. Every child, regardless of age, is lovable.
At the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, we are looking for those ordinary people who have a love for children and are willing to share their love with a child. Do you have room in your heart and your home for a foster child? A foster parent training will be held in the Fayetteville area soon. Class sizes are limited depending on space. Call the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina at 1.877.211.5322 to reserve your spot.
Jasmine Patrick is a foster care consultant with the Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina.
Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 6,000 children have benefitted by the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited public charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 260 vulnerable children are cared for through the residential and community-based services provided by B&GH at any given time. B&GH is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. To learn more, visit www.boysandgirlshomes.org.