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Myth: "I can't foster. I'm too old."

May 19, 2017

That’s not quite right. Meet Helen. Sometimes I ask myself why I am doing this, especially at the age of 76. But these children need somebody. It’s important for children to have the stability of staying somewhere safe and feeling like someone cares about them, like they belong. I know that …

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Myth: "I can't foster. I've never parented before."

May 12, 2017

Not so fast. Meet Kayla and Mike. Kayla and Mike had been married just a few months when Kayla proposed the idea of becoming foster parents. “I wanted to jump right in,” said Kayla. “Mike was open, but he wanted me to do some research and go from there.”   She searched “good foster care agencies …

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Myth: “I can’t foster. I’m single.”

May 05, 2017

You think so? Meet Charlotte. Fostering as a single parent wasn’t a big deal for me. I grew up in a single parent home. Both my mother and my grandmother were single parents, so I knew it could be done. You can do this too But that’s not what encouraged me to foster. I had a friend who was …

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Weighing the Cost of Foster Care Adoption

Apr 28, 2017

Q&A with Jamie Maatman, Foster Care Adoption Supervisor, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Holland Expense is often a barrier for families that want to adopt. While foster care adoption may be a “low-cost” option, Jamie Maatman encourages families to weigh other factors beyond cost. Is it …

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Family Makes the Difference

Apr 21, 2017

by Kimberly Offutt, MSW, National Foster Care Adoption Director, Bethany Christian Services Fifteen-year-old McLyne represented one of nearly 112,000 youth in foster care waiting for an adoptive family. Like many other teens in the foster care system, McLyne lived in the sterile environment of one …

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8 Ideas to Encourage and Support Foster Families

Apr 07, 2017

by April Kiekintveld, Recruitment and Retention Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Holland Perhaps you or someone you know has a heart for foster care but isn’t ready just yet to become a foster parent. We understand foster parenting isn’t for everyone, but there are many ways to …

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Checking Our Emotions: When Foster Parents Feel Anger

Mar 31, 2017

by Kim Poplaski, MARE Recruitment and Licensing Specialist, and Andi Kraker, Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Grand Rapids It’s not unusual for foster parents to feel anger. You see how the child is hurting to be separated from their family. You see how trauma and …

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Facing Fears in Foster Care: Are parents scary?

Mar 24, 2017

by Kim Poplaski, MARE Recruitment and Licensing Specialist, and Andi Kraker, Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Grand Rapids It’s a common question we address in foster care orientation: Are biological parents scary people? Foster-parents-in-training wonder, “If they’ve …

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An Alternative for Michigan Teens Aging Out of Foster Care

Mar 17, 2017

by Jessica DeJohn, Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Grand Rapids You may have heard the overwhelming statistics about the number of American teens who age out of foster care without a family—more than 20,000 every year. Kids who have had a chaotic childhood and then …

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After a Meltdown - part 2 of 2

Mar 03, 2017

by Katie Hickok-Mannebach, Foster Care Supervisor, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Grand Rapids Persistent childhood trauma—abuse, neglect, chronically feeling unsafe or out of control—physically changes how a child’s brain works. Neurons carry messages in our brains like cars travel on a …

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