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JOHN WALLER-WHILE I'M WAITING
Being a Foster Parent has been quite the ride over the past 5 years. Last night I had the opportunity to attend a screening of a documentary on the Foster Care System. This film is not, I repeat not family friendly ( language and other items not suitable for those under 18 ) but it is real.
This film gives a first person look at what it would be like to age out of the foster care system. Can you imagine not having any family? Not having a place to call home? Turning 18 and being told you have two weeks to find your own place? This is a reality for some of the over 30,000 kids that age out every year.
From Place to Place tells the story of two teens from Missoula, MT. Mandy and Raif share their story of aging out of the system, to sitting down with Congressional leaders and trying to change a system that didn't work for them.
( Photo from http://fromplacetoplacemovie.com )
I don't agree with everything that's shared in this documentary, but one theme is very important, the need for more people to get involved. How? There are several ways you can make a difference.
1. Become a CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocate ) The voice for the best interest of the child.
2. Become a Social Worker. Yes this takes a long time to complete the education, but good Social Workers are extremely important.
3. Become a Foster Parent/Family. Opening your home to a child seeking love, safety and structure is the most important part of the Foster Care system. I was able to talk to one of the family court judges after the film, he told me that Clark County is short 400 foster homes.
4. Become a Adoptive Parent/Family. Permanency is what these kids need. A loving home forever.
5. Support organizations that support adoption like Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Show Hope a non-profit organization started by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth.
6. Be a friend to a Foster Family. Offering to babysit, help with errands or just listening can be a huge support to those that are on the front lines of the Foster Care system.
7. Pray. Pray for all involved.
If you'd like to learn more about From Place to Place please visit their website http://fromplacetoplacemovie.com