Facing Foster Care


Kaelyn Hebert, Contributing Writer

My family of four sat patiently waiting for the new beginnings to arrive. A car was heard pulling up the driveway; everyone filled with curiosity and excitement. I was about the age of 12 at the time and nervous to see the children who were about to come into my home. I peered out the window trying to look through the horizontal blinds and saw the door of the stranger’s car open. One little boy who looked the age of five was the first out,  and another one around the age of three followed behind. Our family was prepared to receive our first foster kids.

These two boys were said to only need to be in our home for two weeks, but they ended up needing to be there for almost three years. Being a part of foster care, you must always be prepared for everything because the kind of kid who comes and how long they will be there isn’t always known, and if it is, it can always change.

So what exactly is this program?  Foster care. It is when people open their homes for either a temporary amount of time or a permanent amount of time (depending on the level of licensure) for kids who are in unsafe homes, until they’re able to go back home, or until they are adopted. These kids are taken by resource workers and policeman when the state decides it is necessary for them to be removed from the house based on a concerned call from witnesses of these rough situations. The parents are usually abusive (verbally and/or physically), drug addicts, or never present. When they are taken from the homes, they are then brought to a foster family. These children normally have many issues and personality disorders such as RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) which is normal considering they come from destroyed homes and dangerous environments. In the end, these kids are just normal kids who need love in their lives and foster care can be that for some of them.

“The foster care system in our state is short staffed, tiring to work with, and broken, but not as broken as the kids we are trying to help which makes it worth it. We’re willing to turn our lives upside down so kids can be turned right side up,” says foster parent Jennifer Hebert. The actual organization for foster care in the state of New Hampshire has many flaws. Their goal is to do anything to connect the kids back with the parents which is ultimately not always the best choice for the sake of the children. They need to put more thought in the safety of the children rather than the interest of the parents. Even though this system is not perfect, foster families continue to work with it because of their love for these broken children.

“Some people say that they could never do it, because they would get too attached. I say, these kids need someone to be attached to them and foster care is an opportunity to give a glimpse, a hope for a good future to a kid. The length of time whether short or long that we get to spend with those children does not carry any weight of importance in the light of that opportunity” says foster parent AJ Hebert. People often make excuses as to why they can’t be a part of this process such as: “I’m too busy”, “work schedules”, “not enough space”, “I’m single”, and many others, but the need for more foster homes is incredibly wide and the state works with what you can give. These kids just need any sign of love in their life and they take what they can get. It all comes down to love and the desire to put these kids’ needs and comforts above your own.