I thought long and hard about posting the contents of the emails I’ve received since my mysterious phone call, and decided to do it. For any other prospective foster or adoptive parents out there getting lost in the system and thinking no one cares, here’s proof that there are some truly amazing people in the system.
I have heard about and seen posting of this new outreach number and am quite impressed by the initiative. With so many children in the foster care system, it has been quite disheartening to have such a terrible bunch of experiences just getting information.
Honestly, I am still surprised that my little blog has been read by some folks that will hopefully help make our journey easier.
Also, 2 more days. Or rather, in 2 days, we will be almost done with our Adoption Orientation.
From KB (the phone caller)
It was so nice speaking with you. As I said on the phone I wanted you to have my cell phone number. The number is 786-xxx-xxxx. I am so sorry that you had such a frustrating time getting looped into a PRIDE class, but I am happy that you will have your orientation on Saturday. I am sure you will be able to get all the answers to your questions then, but if for any reason you feel that you need additional supports I have copied in the most amazing team one can ever have. Copied on this email are [TP], [MP], [SW] and [RS].
[TP] is the current President of the State Wide Foster and Adoptive Parent Conference. She is also the person that monitors the Foster/Adoption support line and is a great resource as she has decades of experience as both a foster and adoptive parent.
[MP] is the current President of the South Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and is a mentor to our new foster parents. I know she would love to have you at one of their meetings and can also help to answer your questions from a fellow foster parent perspective.
Also on this email you will find [SW]. She oversees our licensing department at Our Kids and is a wealth of knowledge and supports.
Finally I have copied [RS] on this email. She is our Quality Parenting Initiative program manager and is a great person to know and help you if needed.
Again I am so sorry that you had such a hard time getting connected to an agency but I am confident that Family Resource Center will be a great place for you.
So nice speaking to you again and please let me know if you ever need anything.
Thank you [KB].
Becca – We are all very disheartened by your experience with trying to get into classes here in Miami. We are working very diligently to change our system so that other people do not have this same experience. We have initiated a new informational number for people to call and have been advertising in several different mediums.
The number that interested people should call is 855-786-KIDS(5437). We also have an email address that people can submit inquiries to. It is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have implemented these because of some of the things you experienced – numerous agencies to call and difficulty in reaching someone. The phone line is answered 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The initial call is to gather information and share basic information about becoming a foster parent. The information is then shared with our recruitment staff. This staff person also monitors the email inquiries and calls the interested parties within 1 business day of receiving the information (call or email). We then refer to the agencies in their area and follow up with both the agency and the prospective foster parent within a week of the initial call (5 business days). This is so we can determine what the experience was for the prospective foster parent with the agencies.
I am sharing all this with you as people who may be interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents are likely reading your blog and I hope that you will share this contact information so we can make sure that none of them have the same experience that you had. I appreciate that you are sharing your very personal experience with the world and hope that we can make the rest of the journey less stressful and frustrating for you and your husband.