Every single thing has changed. The simplest family outing, eating at a restaurant, sitting in a movie theatre, a routine Dr visit, planning a birthday celebration… nothing is the same. Imagine all of these sudden changes from a child’s perspective. Not returning to school to clean out their desk or see their friends and teachers. No summer sports, swimming lessons or end of year celebrations. An overall sense of loss, sadness and fear. Now imagine all of these sudden changes through the eyes of a child in foster care. Their world was already flipped upside down long before COVID-19.
Children come into foster care for a multitude of reasons, and no two children (or how they process trauma) are the same. It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s abandonment, addiction and substance abuse or mental health concerns – children in foster care often feel no sense of belonging. They feel they don’t fit in with their current home structure or at school. They suffer with low self esteem, sleep issues and food insecurities. I’ve spoken to many foster parents in the Kenosha area since this pandemic has started. The typical response I hear is that the children in their homes are struggling immensely. Children who’ve experienced trauma, thrive on structure and routine .They like to know
what’s coming next. It gives them a feeling of control that they so crave.
We are all dealing with this in our own way, but children in foster care are facing a whole different kind of fear and uncertainty. As a community, I would encourage you to see how you could get involved in caring for these children, or those who care for them. Do you know a family who fosters? Maybe offer to send them a meal. How about a night of babysitting, and you bring a fun new game over to play with the kids. Not into the “hands on” kid thing? Send diapers and wipes. I guarantee nothing you offer is too small when it comes to caring for children in need. Like the old proverb says, It takes a village to raise a child.
During this time, the need for more foster homes is great. Not all homes have to commit to long term care. The need for short term, emergency placements and respite providers are just as great. For more information on the need in our very own community, please contact Community Impact Programs at (262) 654-1004 Ext 137