Providing Stability to the Youngest Survivors
by Michele Morrissey
A baby girl, just four days old and exposed to heroin, is shuddering through withdrawal in intensive care, her fate now being determined in a courthouse that hosts a parade of human misery.
A mother nods off as the judge explains the legal process, and tests arrive back showing she continues to struggle with recovery. The judge rules, grandparents sob, and by the time the hearing is over, yet another child is left in the arms of loving foster parents because of the disease of addiction on parenting.
There is little surprise in any of this, for these themes are persistent in referrals for Comprehensive Foster Care in Massachusetts. A Monday brings a referral for an opioid-dependent newborn which spills into a Tuesday where four siblings are found in an apartment left alone without adequate food or resources. Wednesday brings a need for a foster home for two young siblings found in a car beside a mother passed out which fades into Thursday with another addicted infant brought into this world. Across Massachusetts soaring use of opioids has forced thousands of children from their homes, creating a generation of children and youth longing for their parents in recovery or worse orphaned because of fatal overdoses.
Stories of barren fridges, unwelcome visitors and parents who could not be woken are realities for many communities over the past several years. Many times we do not hear about the numerous stories where grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and coaches come forward and provide safety in familiar homes in their communities. However, when these best options are not available our foster parents come forward and provide security.
It only takes one caring individual to positively effect change in the life of one of these children. Foster parents make a significant impact on the trajectory of a child’s life.
One of the biggest problems in foster care right now is that there are not enough homes for the children who require this help. Becoming a foster parent is an important process that LUK can help a person navigate. The potential foster family is provided with a background check and participates in a thorough home study. Once completed and approved, a family can begin to accept children into their home. If you have the space, compassion, a clear criminal record, and the ability to care for children, rather than ask “Why should I become a foster parent?” Instead ask “Why shouldn’t I become a foster parent?”.
To begin the process of becoming a foster parent, please call LUK at 800-879-0000 and we will assign a professional foster care specialist to support and guide you through the process.