What are the rules about religious exposure?
They (DCFS) really want you to treat foster children as your own. If you go to church, pray in your home, have family scripture study... you involve them the way you would involve your own children. If you have a parent request that you not take them to church, we were told you can still take them but stay with them in the foyer (or switch off with your spouse). That way you don't have to miss church every week. You don't need to ask permission to take them, but you stop taking them to class if you're asked.
Neither of our placements came from LDS homes, but we still take them to church and do Family Home Evening and everything. We have had parents request that they not give talks in Sharing Time or the Primary Program.
Are you infertile?
Okay, just so you all feel better, I wasn't actually asked this question (by any of you). It is, however, something that people assume ALL THE TIME. I can't tell you how uncomfortable it is to be held after Sunday School for 15 minutes to get advice from old women about how I need have to wait for the Lord's time to have children. Anyway - the answer is no, not that I know of. :)
Are you allowed to get a babysitter?
Yep! We get this question all the time, actually. Any babysitter you would get for your own children, you can get for foster kids UNLESS they'd be overnight. Then you have to have them with a licensed respite caregiver.
What about the process is probably different or the same in other states?
I'm waiting back to hear about this answer.
How do you help your kids deal with trauma?
The easiest way I can think of to explain this is to say, we try to always make sure they know we're there for them and aren't going anywhere. Like at night, where we might say, "Suck it up and go to bed" to some kids, we say, "I'll stay until you're asleep" to these ones [sometimes]. Or, when it's been a really rough day socially for her, one of us will stay home from the family dinner or sit in a separate room with her until she's ready to see anyone. When we get babysitters, we make sure we get ones they know and/or have them show up a half hour early to just hang out with us.
As far as other issues that come with trauma: Our therapist has said that issues like dishonesty tend to be tests - Will we stick around? Will we get super mad? Will we be honest?? She counseled us to say, "Oh, I bet the person who did this was thinking, '______,' but at our house we ___," instead of, "Who did this and why are you lying about it?"
When they play aggressive shooting games, we say, "Remember, we only shoot when we're soldiers or policemen, and we only shoot bad guys," or, "Okay, that's enough of that kind of game. Let's play grocery shopping." If they're aggressive toward each other (which almost never happens), we have the offender do something nice for the victim, "so s/he knows how much you love him/her and you know how to be nice." We talk a lot about well we need to treat brothers and sisters, too, in hopes that they'll grow up being able to help each other.
How long did it take all of you to get into a groove? What surprised you about foster care? and some more. :)
Previous posts on this topic:
“DON’T —” screamed Snape, and his face was suddenly demented, inhuman, as though he was in as much pain as the yelping, howling dog stuck in the burning house behind them — “CALL ME COWARD!”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince