Is foster care a revolving door? Deb and Ted Marlowe say no! They have been a resource family for foster children the past 16 years. In that time, they have had over a dozen children placed with them full time and provided respite care for countless other children. Deb notes most of the children stayed with them for 12 to 18 months, and more importantly, many remain in touch with the couple, even coming back to visit after being adopted or returning to their birth family. As an example, Deb shares this story:
“I had two young brothers for one year, and during that year they blossomed in school and socially. They learned so many new skills. The thing that made this situation especially unique was that their mom (who they so desperately wanted to be home with) welcomed my input and support on what she needed to do to get her children back. The boys knew that their mom supported me and vice versa. That created a nice friendship between all of us. The boys eventually moved home, and to this day I still take the boys for visits.”
Deb began considering foster care after her daughter graduated from high school. She proceeded slowly at first, wanting to be sure she wasn’t just experiencing empty nest syndrome. The call remained strong, and the couple continued with the process to become a licensed resource home.
It is Deb’s understanding of children’s grief and loss that made her a good candidate for treatment foster care, and the couple affiliated with Spurwink Treatment Foster Care eight years ago. Deb notes, “I especially enjoyed working with the case coordinator at Spurwink. The experience and expertise of the staff make all the difference in fostering. I have supportive staff members every step of the way! The family support specialist that works with the children one-on-one is life- changing for many of these youth in care. They finally have someone that gives them undivided attention and support through their school week.”
Spurwink recognizes the time and energy foster parents devote to children in their care. In addition to a case coordinator and often a family support specialist, Spurwink offers round-the-clock availability of an on-call social worker, exclusive training, opportunities to engage with other foster parents, and family outings.
Spurwink’s foster parents are our number one recruitment resource. “I tell anyone that is thinking about fostering to go with an agency because you will receive the support that you so desperately need doing this line of work.” It should be noted that affiliating with an agency does require some experience working with children who have behavioral or emotional disabilities, or a mental health diagnosis. Once foster parents have a year of experience, they also qualify to affiliate with an agency.
Deb concludes, “It is an honor and privilege to be a foster parent. I take this job very seriously and enjoy mentoring new foster families.”
Do you feel called to provide foster care? Reach out to Spurwink recruiter Rana O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin a conversation about starting your own foster care journey!