Every year, JCCA’s Robert Maslow Awards for Excellence in Practice recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their duties in support of JCCA’s mission. For a glimpse into the passion and dedication that power JCCA’s life-saving work, read our interview series profiling a few of the 2018 Maslow Winners.
Recruitment Coordinator, Foster Home Services
JCCA: What are some of the issues you face in recruiting foster parents?
YM: The number of children entering into foster care remains high, but the number of certified foster homes available to accept placements is limited. People want to help, but they are not always interested in completing the application and certification process, or they are unable to comply with the responsibilities of fostering. The greatest demand for foster care placements is for homes for teenagers and sibling groups.
JCCA: What qualities do you look for in foster parents?
YM: The process of becoming a foster parent is time-consuming and can be difficult. Foster parents need to communicate clearly, be nurturing, and have empathy and patience. They must be able to understand each child’s individual case and meet their needs in a healthy and supportive manner. It is important that foster parents know that this is a partnership, and that they will be asked to work with the child’s relatives, extended family, case planners, and others. We need them to be open and honest in talking to us about the child’s behavior and anything impacting the child’s life.
JCCA: What do you find most satisfying about your work? Most challenging?
YM: It’s challenging when a placement doesn’t work out. There’s a lot of time and patience that goes into the process of recruiting, training, and properly screening prospective foster parents. It can be frustrating when a placement is made and it doesn’t work out for various reasons. We need foster parents to commit to the child or children placed in their home despite the emotional hardships they might encounter. When we’re able to locate a loving, nurturing home for a child with a provider who’s committed to ongoing work to address the child’s trauma, it’s great. We love hearing that a foster parent is doing amazing work, and seeing that our goal of permanency is being accomplished.