During the month of May, Children’s Friend is proud to honor the commitment and dedication of over 70 foster families who have provided unwavering safety, stability, and care for vulnerable foster children in our program. Last year, a global pandemic presented foster parents with some of the biggest challenges they have ever had to face. Throughout the pandemic, our foster parents rose to the occasion, going above and beyond our wildest imagination in accommodating the ever changing restrictions, requests, and asks that were placed upon them. Foster parents demonstrated flexibility in providing virtual visitation for birth families to see their children throughout quarantine, utilized virtual platforms to meet with agency social workers and providers on a regular basis, engaged children in distance learning while balancing their own work schedules, and accepted foster children into their homes who were exposed or positive for COVID-19.
Our staff continued to provide a weekly virtual foster parent support group, facilitate virtual workshops and trainings for continuing education, reconvene our monthly Foster Parent Advisory Council, and use other innovative ways to remain connected to our foster families. Typically, we host a Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner, where families and staff gather together to enjoy each other’s company. Last year, our event was postponed. This year, we hosted our first ever virtual Foster Parent Appreciation Night on May 20, 2021, with guest speakers, raffles, and a special foster care celebration video that included the testimony of our staff and foster parents who shared their insights and words of wisdom on what foster care means to them. It was an amazing event that acknowledged all of the hard work and dedication that our foster families demonstrate each and every day. We simply cannot thank them enough.
Rhode Island’s most vulnerable children need safe and loving foster homes more than ever. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please contact Heather Ashworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alycia Bedrosian Zagaglia, LICSW, MSCJ
Family Preservation Supervisor