Today I received six different emails requesting foster homes for sibling groups. Today I had to reply that I did not have any foster families available who could take in these siblings. May I share this with you?
6 year old boy, 1 year old girl
3 year old boy, 1 year old boy, 2 year old boy
7 month old girl, 2 year old girl, 4 year old girl, 7 year old boy
Newborn girl, 3 year old boy, 1 year old boy
8 year old boy, 12 year old girl
8 year old girl, 9 year old boy, 11 year old girl, 13 year old girl
This was just yesterday. Every day our office receives dozens of emails requesting foster homes for sibling groups, a surprisingly difficult population to place.
This is because sibling groups range in age and size. While a new foster family might feel equipped and prepared to parent a 5 year old, not too many feel equipped and prepared to parent a 5, 7, and 10 year old. And that’s ok, because it is no easy task!
But what happens when foster homes aren’t available for these sibling groups? They are forced to be separated; often times into multiple homes or into group home settings. Today they will not only experience the loss of their home and parents, but will also be torn from their siblings.
This is a tragedy. Praise God we no longer have children sleeping in DCS offices (remember 20015??). But the work is not done. Arizona has nearly 200% more homes than it needs for children ages 0-2 but falls far short of what we need for children over age 7 and especially for children who are a part of a sibling group. You can view the statistics on the DCS website.
Arizona needs foster parents. Foster parents who are willing to step out in faith, possibly have a very hard 12 – 18 months of parenting multiple children with multiple traumas, and stick around long enough to inspire others. This is hard. It requires people with real grit. It takes people who are teachable and who are willing to be flexible. Foster parents who have space, the time, and the ability to transport multiple children. Foster parents who have a strong support system for when things get tough (or are willing to build one). Foster parents who understand our calling as Christians to care for the orphan and who are willing to follow this command despite how uncomfortable it may be.
This is a good work. I would argue some of the best work that can be done. But it is hard work. Are you willing to work alongside us? We’ve been there, done that and we want to give you the tools to do it too. Check out our orientation page and get started today!
Arizona Faith and Families was founded by Paul and Nikki Lehman. Paul and Nikki started their family by adopting two teenage girls from foster care. They are now the proud parents to five children and one grandchild and work to equip others toward successful foster care and adoption.