Commentary: Saying ‘yes’ to local foster children, plus upcoming foster information events

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The word “yes” can be a powerful word. We tend to choose no over yes out of fear and uncertainty. Often, by choosing no over yes, we miss out on unexpected joys and opportunities. While saying “yes” requires courage, commitment and even sacrifice, we may find that our yes has the potential to give hope and bring about change for ourselves and others.

We need people who are willing to say “yes” to a child in foster care. Currently there are over 8,000 children in foster care across the state of Washington. It is estimated that 1,500 more foster homes are needed. In Lynnwood, only 10 percent of the children removed from their homes have been placed in a foster home within their community. The remaining 90 percent of children have been moved outside of their neighborhood to other cities or counties primarily due to a lack of foster homes available nearby. So, not only do these children lose their homes and families, but they lose their friends, schools and the familiarity of their neighborhoods as well. There is a great need for families who can provide safe, loving, and stable homes for children who have experienced abuse and neglect in your own community.

The fear and uncertainty in saying “yes” to becoming a foster parent causes us to do nothing. Our fear of the unknown, our fear of loving and losing and our misconceptions about foster care prevent us from actively responding to this need. But what if those of us who were able said “yes” despite the fear and uncertainty? We would find that the pain of any sacrifice we make pales in comparison to what these children have endured. We would find that there is great joy in giving of ourselves for another. And we would find that though it’s not always easy, it’s always worth it.

If you’re ready to say “yes” or have questions before moving forward, contact your Fostering Together liaison. Fostering Together is available to answer any questions you may have about foster care, assist you through the licensing process and provide ongoing support. They are there to help through the licensing process regardless of where you’re at in the process or what agency you’re working with. Visit www.fosteringtogether.org for more information. Or, below, see a flyer for information about Foster Information Nights coming up in February in Snohomish County.

–By Danielle Martin
Fostering Together Liaison

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