Foster Care and Adoption

Catholic Charities foster care program helps qualified individuals and couples become licensed foster parents. Our case managers facilitate the initial training and continue to provide ongoing training, resources and support. We recruit and support foster parents, therapeutic foster parents, kinship foster parents and unaccompanied minor foster parents.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Foster Mom of 10 Years Shares Her Successes

Written by Bethany Durham
Deb, foster parent Deb, foster parent

Foster children often come from homes where parents are unable to prioritize them or provide the food, shelter, and unconditional love they need. Deb, a former therapeutic foster mom through Catholic Charities in Prescott, set out to change that.

Her work as a family and child therapist, case manager for CPS, and coordinator for court-appointed advocates inspired her to pursue fostering. It opened her eyes to the hardship and hurt that foster children can carry with them every day. Therapeutic foster children have behavioral or mental health issues that require a higher level of care and dedication.

Deb started out fostering two sisters, an 8-year-old and a 13-year-old, one of which she is still in contact with years later. She realized she enjoyed working with teens, particularly those struggling with mental health issues or on probation. She always had a soft spot for them and understood the challenges of growing up.

Investing in Their Best Interests

Throughout her time as a foster parent, Deb passionately advocated for whatever her children needed, whether it was medication, closure about why they were removed from their parents, or simply a helping hand. She has also assisted her kids in obtaining jobs, finishing school, and finding success.

“You have got to be real with these kids…You’ve got to help the kids work out anything that’s undone because they can’t move on unless they do that, they can’t let go,” she added.

Prioritizing Respect

She emphasized respect for her foster children and all they had been through. Her one rule was that her children never had to clean her house. She knew that most of them had never had anything done for them. With tears in her eyes, Deb recalled a time when she did laundry for one of her teens and saw how grateful she was.

“It makes me want to cry. It’s so horrible that a child would be that age and not have ever had her laundry done for her,” she said.

Creating a Joyful Life

Most importantly, Deb wanted her children to have fun whenever they could. She knew these children’s lives had been anything but enjoyable. At the end of the day, the most rewarding thing was being able to put a smile on their faces.

The foster mom has brilliant words of wisdom for anyone who is considering becoming a foster parent. When it comes to kids dealing with mental illness or substance abuse, parents must recognize that these children may not act their age.

Understanding Their Past and Protecting Their Future

As with any relationship, it takes a foundation of trust and respect to be successful. However, parents must understand that foster children don’t always have the capacity to pay back that respect. But when they do, it’s a great feeling.

“You have to respect them for what they’ve had to put up with. And be able to very slowly show them you’re going to stand by them and support them emotionally and financially,” said Deb.

If this story touched your heart, you can help! Consider using your tax credit to donate to our Northern Arizona Foster Care program and create a brighter future for kids like Deb’s.

 

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