‘r kids Family Center works with foster homes licensed through the Department of Children and Families and other agencies that are providing care to children who have been removed from their biological or relative caregivers. These children are in the custody of DCF and their families have been referred to ‘r kids’ programs.
We provide support services to the foster families throughout ‘r kids’ case. Staff does an intake and assessment with each foster family upon the initial referral from DCF. During the in-home in-take we gather information about the daily routines of the child and the family.
When we pick up and/or drop off children from their parents, we maintain ongoing contact with the foster family. These interactions provide us with information addressing the trials of transitioning and afford foster parents the opportunity to share any concerns that may be developing.
Too many times foster families are kept out of the loop of what is happening with the children in their care, who are the people involved with ‘their ‘ children and where are they going.
‘r kids completes orientations and intakes with every foster family caring for the children who are visiting. We encourage them to maintain contact with us and give us feedback after/before visits and look to assist in developing a ‘partnership’ with them on behalf of the children in their care.
Foster families provide the likes and dislikes, behaviors and schedules for both the parents and our staff to coordinate successful times and places for visitation.
Example of Program Success
After 1 ½ years of attempting to reunify a boy with his parents, it was discovered the ‘father’ was in fact not the biological father. The Mother was cognitively limited, but had never missed a visit with her son and clearly loved him. At that time the foster family wanted to adopt him but refused a relationship with the birth mother. The Judge recognized the significance of loss this young boy had just experienced and refused to terminate the biological mother’s rights.
And although initially his foster ‘grandma’ did not want a relationship with his birth mom, through the consistent commitment and delicate respect for each person’s feelings, this year, at the age of 14 1/2, this young man was finally adopted by ‘grandma’ and Grandma has an excellent relationship with his birth mom – a real tribute to honoring a child’s needs for permanence, family and the love of his mother and ‘Grandma’ and exceptional ‘r kids social workers.