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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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In the Midst of a Meltdown – part 1 of 2

Feb 24, 2017

by Katie Hickok-Mannebach, Foster Care Supervisor, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Grand Rapids When a child in your care has been triggered and is entering a meltdown, your most effective response will be to remain calm. If you can’t keep calm yourself, you won’t keep the situation calm. …

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Validating and De-escalating Big Emotions

Feb 17, 2017

by Julie McGowan, LMSW, Family Counseling Supervisor and Therapist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Holland As a family counselor, I see parent-child interactions that are very intuitive and natural, yet fail to de-escalate a child with big emotions: Child: “You love Dad more than me.” …

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Trauma-Informed Foster Parenting

Feb 10, 2017

by Starr Allen-Pettway, LMSW, Branch Director, Bethany Christian Services Of Michigan, Madison Heights  Trauma training gives foster parents tools to both understand what trauma looks like from a child’s perspective and also manage trauma that may be present in a child placed in their care. Trauma- …

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