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May 29, 2020

Foster Care Awareness Month

Friend Jeff K. shares his experience serving our youth in foster care during COVID-19.

Q: What has been unique or challenging working with you in care as compared to your other youth during COVID 19?

Jeff: "I currently have two youth in foster care, I guess what is different is that it’s more difficult to help problem-solve around self-management when triggers come up and to help maintain safety for one of my youth. Structure is much more important for that youth in comparison to my other youth. We developed some goals around doing daily computer schoolwork for thirty minutes to get [a reward of] some nerf bullets after he does a certain amount of days. If he did not brush his teeth on the day we meet, we would brush together at the beginning of our FaceTime. For him, it is crucial to meet still on the same Tuesday and time as before quarantining as the difficulty to handle unexpected things/events can be a lagging skill or a trigger.

There are also still youth in care with severe acuity that can be so challenging that there may not be a foster placement that can meet there needs during this time. In that case, they would be [placed] in hotels or at shelters through something like Boys and Girls Aid’s The Nest. A Friend will provide the needed consistency and stability in these cases. I have two youth who had lived in hotels during my time here, and I’m certain that is still the case [for some of our youth in care]. This is concerning given the current world circumstances besides the youth’s personal situation. No matter what the circumstances, a Friend will still commit to being there for our youth in foster care."

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