Sending Out an SOS: When Fostering is Hard        

Parenting is hard. Parenting a traumatized child is really hard. When I became a foster parent 5 years ago, I thought I was prepared for what it would mean to parent a child who has gone through real trauma at an early age. I remember being completely engaged in our PS-MAPP classes that are geared to prepare foster parents for what it will be like in real life. I participated in the role playing activities, did all the homework, and submitted all the paperwork that was required. My husband and I listed our strengths and came up with game plans of how we would deal with the potential challenges that might hit us and then, just like that, it all became real.

The first couple of days I thought, “this isn’t too hard” and then the honeymoon wore off. I remember about 4 weeks in my husband and I sat at our dining table with our heads in our hands wondering what in the world we had gotten ourselves into. When it became obvious we needed more tools, we reached out for help but it quickly became clear that good resources can be challenging to find. We have done our best. We’ve had some failures and successes but nothing that really made a huge impact until this year.

If you are struggling with the effects of trauma in the life of your child, I want you to know you are not alone. There is hope. There are resources. I promise you there is more road past the dead ends you may continue to run into. If this speaks to where you are, I want encourage you to come join us September 23, 2017 as Foster Arizona partners with Arizona Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents for a training to empower families to better navigate the behavioral health system, learn the timelines and requirements put in place through the passing of Jacob’s law, and receive practical in-the-moment skills to handle the behaviors that come from trauma.

AZAFAP members pay $10 and non-members pay $15.  All participants will receive a certificate for 6 training hours and lunch will be provided. Please note, child care will not be provided.  Registration will be available on Foster Arizona‘s website starting Monday.

These speakers have personally impacted my family and I am beyond excited for how this day will impact many more.

Anika Robinson – Anika has played a pivotal role in empowering foster/adoptive families to better advocate for the kids in their home. In 2015, she partnered with two other foster/adoptive moms to create Jacob’s Law and now assists families struggling to receive needed services through her role as Foster Care Community Liaison for AHCCCS. Her desire to see families strengthened through education, community connections, and advocacy is realized through her work with ASA Now; a non-profit she co-founded in 2016.

Lisa Luchessi– Children’s system of care coordinator with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (MMIC Child Welfare Unit is available at any time to help navigate any situation and to help remove whatever barriers may be present).

Carol Melim – Carol is known within the foster/adoptive parent community as the RAD Whisperer. As a foster/adoptive parent herself, she knows first hand the struggles that come with parenting a traumatized child and uses practical tools to help families feel empowered to make a difference in their child’s life.

Carol Melim specializes in working with children, teens, adults, and families who have challenges with ADHD, adoption, anxiety, depression, loss and grief, mood disorder, oppositional defiance, trauma, and victims of abuse and neglect. She works with children, teens, and adults who were adopted later in life from foreign countries or have come through the foster care system. She understands their need for control and helps them heal and find the joy in living with a family. Carol is EMDR Certified with EMDRIA to help children, teens, and adults process trauma. In addition she has completed additional EMDR training to work with reprocessing early trauma and neglect in implicit memory and Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol (R-TEP) and Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP).

Kim Vehon

Founder/CEO Foster Arizona


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