There was so much more we wanted to know about the fantastic work being done by the Up Center, so we asked Sabrina Carr a few more questions:
How long have you been involved with the Up Center and why did you choose this organization?
I’ve began my career at The Up Center in July 2019. The Up Center has a long standing and positive reputation for meeting the needs of the community.
I was drawn to them because the agency oftentimes connects people to programs and services even when it’s something we don’t offer.
You mentioned training as a requirement, what types of training do you give to applicants?
We offer a curriculum called PRIDE, Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education. The course is taught by our team and it includes various categories such as protecting and nurturing children, supporting children’s relationships with their birth families, and working as a member of a professional team. We also provide CPR & First Aid training and a certification in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. This will provide our foster parents de-escalation techniques in a non-restrictive manner.
How are foster children matched with foster parents?
We work very closely with our prospective foster parents to get to know them throughout the application and training process. We have many in-depth conversations in addition to a variety of interviews, surveys, and questionnaires. We gather information such as family background, financial statements, relationships, and social life. Having all this information about the family helps us to determine the child that would flourish in the home.
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How long do foster children typically stay with a family?
It really depends on the situation. Each child and the circumstances around why they enter foster care is different. When they join the home of a foster family, we never know how long they will stay.
This all hinges on the progress of the biological parents. However, foster care is not a permanent goal. The ultimate goal is for the family to be whole, in other words, for the children to return to their biological family. Children can be in foster care weeks, month, or years.
What happens if the foster parents and children really do not get along?
We don’t see this very often. We invest a lot of time in training and getting to know our families throughout. This helps to understand and anticipate their parenting styles for a child that would join their home.
We also offer a lot of support for the children as well as the families and provide tips, resources, and best practices to be able to assist with this transitional period.
Is it common for foster parents to end up adopting the children the foster?
Yes and no. The number one goal when children enter foster care is for them to return to their biological family. Because of various circumstances, that may not happen. Often times a family member may be found and if it’s appropriate they may gain custody of the children. Adoption from foster care does happen, but there are no guarantees.
What advice would you give to people considering becoming foster parents?
Get all the information you need to make the best decision for your family. Not all agencies are the same. They provide different support for the families. Find the agency that is going to be a good fit for your family. Have a family conversation about it, sharing your expectations about it. Take the step and start your journey.
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