As I look forward to a year of connections and healing for children impacted by trauma around the world, I find myself reflecting on some of the most valuable champions for our children and youth: foster and kinship families. Over the past 23 years of working with foster and kinship families, I have witnessed humility, grace, fortitude, and an outpouring of unconditional love and acceptance they have for the children in their care and their families. Foster and kinship families go above and beyond every day to provide safety and healing for children when they cannot be with their parents. They generously give their love and support, often without any praise or thanks.
Foster and kinship caregivers’ compassion, and unwavering commitment to creating healing for the children in their care is essential for healing trauma and reunifying children with their parents. We are truly grateful for you!
Many of us are familiar with The Starfish Story:
One morning, a man was walking along a beach after a storm. In the distance, he could see a human figure moving like a dancer. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young woman picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young woman paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The sun is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the man commented, “But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young woman bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she said, “It made a difference for that one.”
(Adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren Eisley)
Caring for a child is one of the most important, challenging, and joyful roles we can ever have. There are approximately 400,000 children living with foster and kinship families. Just like the starfish thrower, foster and kinship families make a tremendous difference for each child in their care. Because of you, the world is a better place. We offer our sincere thanks to you!
As we head into the new year, we are honored to offer foster and kinship families a new trauma-informed care resource to make caregiving a little easier. Welcome to Families Are Forever™ (FAF), the only online, on-demand training resource in the world authorized and endorsed by the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KPICD). Using Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®), FAF empowers caregivers and professionals globally with trauma-informed strategies and resources to become effective advocates and improve outcomes for children. We have recently enhanced FAF with new content and resources specifically for foster and kinship families.
We can’t wait to serve your family in 2023!
Jill Crewes, MSW & The Families Are Forever Team
Jill Crewes, MSW
Families Are Forever Advisory Board Member