Foster Facts LIVE: Fostering as a Relative Caregiver
<![CDATA[Imagine getting a call in the middle of the night. What you hear quickly startles you wide awake. You learn that your grandchild has been removed from his home because he is no longer able to safely live with his mother. Kyle’s mother is your daughter. The voice on the phone asks, "Is Kyle able to stay with you?" You look around your house; a house that has not been baby-proofed in many years since your own children are now well into adulthood. You wonder how you will provide for this child when you can only just provide for yourself. You live on a fixed income, and while you're able to make ends meet, there's no money left at the end of the month to save for an emergency - much less retirement. You wonder, for a second, if placing Kyle in foster care would be better for him. You think you are far too old to care for a baby. His foster parents would probably have more money than you do, too. "Hello, are you still there?", the voice probes. Memories of Kyle tumble quickly through your mind, and tears blur your vision. You don't know how you'll do it, but you're determined to find a way. "Yes. Of course he can stay with me. I’m his family. How soon will he arrive?"
Did you know that two-thirds of children who enter the foster care system live with relatives? While the above is just a scenario, this is the reality that grandparents, aunts, uncles — even neighbors and best friends — face every single day. To help make the removal as painless as possible, locating a caregiver who is known to the child is a first priority when children come into care. Watch our latest Foster Facts LIVE episode where we spoke to Larry Cooper from Children’s Home Network to talk about supports available for families in a similar situation.