We’ve all seen the horrific headlines when child abuse — or worse — is televised by the media. And many of us have wondered to ourselves, “What could I do to make a difference?” Unfortunately (in this case), the brain is built to multi-task and often before that thought has even scratched the surface of our consciousness, it is gone. Others may marinate in the thought, but then decide there is nothing they can do because __________. (You fill in the blank.)
Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a foster or adoptive parent but then filled in the blank with one of the following:
- There is nothing I can do because I don’t own my own home.
- There is nothing I can do because I’m single.
- There is nothing I can do because I’m not rich.
- There is nothing I can do because I’m too old.
The list can go on and on. But when the list meets reality, there’s a lot that one person can do.
One of Arizona’s biggest needs is for people to become foster or adoptive parents. And while that may seem like a huge ask — and it is — the reality is that foster and adoptive parents are not required to own their own homes. Renters are welcome!
Single people are welcome too! In fact, sometimes — depending on the individual situation of the child — a single parent home may be the preferred setting.
And when it comes to finances, “rich” is not in the vocabulary. Foster and adoptive parents just need to have a stable enough financial outlook to be able to pay their bills and still have a little left over for the unexpected.
I recently heard the comment on TV, “60 is the new 20.” Now that may seem like a stretch, but when it comes to kids who need foster or adoptive parents, it’s closer to a reality. Parenting a child who has been abused or neglected may require the addition of some tools to your parenting tool belt, but you will still build upon your existing knowledge. Many of our best foster and adoptive parents are those who have taken on this role after their own children are grown; they find it a rewarding way to give back while staying young and involved in the community.
After all, Arizona’s kids are counting on you!
- Roxann L. Miller is the Marketing and Communication Specialist
for Home Recruitment with the Department of Child Safety.