It's Okay for You to say that Foster Parenting is Difficult.
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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1M ago
You have permission. It’s okay to say it’s hard. It’s okay to say that sometimes you just feel like no understands what you are going through. Guess what.  It’s even okay to say that sometimes, you simply want to stop, that you can’t do it any more, that you are just don’t want to be hurt again.  Yes, foster parenting can be difficult. You see, I have been a foster parent to over 60 children over the years.   Foster parenting, without a doubt, has been the hardest thing I have ever done.  I can not imagine a more difficult and challenging life style. I have live ..read more
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The Importance of Documentation
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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4M ago
Just as location, location, location are the three most important words for a real estate agent, documentation should ring in the ear of every foster parent. They just might be the three most important words a foster parent needs today. Written documentation can go a long way toward keeping foster parents safe, and even helping protect them from false accusations.  Now, documentation does not mean that you, as a foster parent, should record and report only those negative experiences while caring for a child in care. Indeed, positive events and occurrences should also be reported and doc ..read more
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A Pandemic of Mental Health for Children in Foster Care
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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8M ago
I recall it vividly. I was asked by a CNN reporter in April of 2020 how the closing of schools across the nation due to Covid would affect children and youth in foster care. My response was that I was far more concerned about the mental health risks for children in crisis than I was of any virus. Sadly, we are seeing this happening. The real pandemic, now, is that of mental health for our children. In truth, so many of our children and youth are suffering from a mental health crisis. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on mental health issues of teenagers during ..read more
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The Truth (and Stages) about Grief and Loss for Foster Parents
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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9M ago
Foster parenting can be a journey of emotions.  One of the many emotions that foster parents often experience is that of grief.  Indeed, as a foster parent to over 60 children myself, I have experienced feelings of grief and loss so many, many times. Grief can be expressed in variety of ways, depending upon the individual, as it is personal. Some will shed tears and cry while others will hold it inside. Some will busy themselves in a task, while other will seem detached and far away. The departure of your foster child from your home can be one that is devastating to you and yo ..read more
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The SUPPORT that Foster Parents Need!
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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10M ago
You probably have a support group of some kind; people that you surround yourself with in order to find support and strength from. People who help you in times of need, and lift you up when you are struggling. People who understand you, or “get you”, and people who make you laugh and feel better, even in the most difficult of times. People you can count on to be there for you, isn’t that right? Your support group might be members of your family, your friends, people at work, or perhaps fellow church members. As a foster parent, you will also need a support group. To be sure, your friends and ..read more
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10 Reasons Why I am Thankful as a Foster Parent
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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1y ago
​It seems that as I grow older, I become more and more appreciative and more grateful for all the blessings in my life. I imagine that is simply a progression of age, and simply shows that I am getting older.    It has long been a tradition in our home each evening,  as we sit down at the table, for each of us to state what we have been thankful for during the day.  From the youngest to the oldest, it is always interesting to hear what others might say. Sometimes, it can be sad, while other times, it can be amusing. Most often, it is inspiring.  As you can imagine, o ..read more
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Parenting Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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1y ago
I have had so many babies, infants, and children come join my family who have suffered from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, otherwise known as FASD.  In fact, some have joined my family permanently, through adoption. I am sure you have probably come across children with FASD at some point in your life, as well.             Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are a collection of conditions resulting from a woman consuming alcohol while pregnant. The alcohol consumed by mother passes through her through the umbilical cord, and thus int ..read more
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Foster Care-Reformed, and Always Reforming.
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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1y ago
I heard that phrase the other day.  To be sure, it was a phrase that I took some time to reflect upon recently, in so many areas of my life.  As a parent, as a husband, as a member of the community, and in foster care. Yes, foster care needs reform. It always has, and it always will. As the world continues to change, foster care will need to change with it. I often tell foster parents that I work with that there are 50 different states in the United States, and each state does foster care a little bit differently.  Each state has its own specific policies and procedures, rul ..read more
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Why Christmas and the Holidays are Difficult for Children in Foster Care....and how YOU can Help.
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
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1y ago
  You know the familiar phrase. ’Tis the season to be jolly.   Not for the roughly half a million children in foster care in the United States.   It is often a time of great sadness and despair., a time of loneliness and of rejection.  For these children, it is a reminder of so much anxiety and trauma in their young lives.  Many foster children are faced with the realization that they will not be “home for the holidays,” so to speak, with their biological family members.   It is a reminder that they are separated from their parents and family. &nb ..read more
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How Routine Can Help Bring Healing to Children in Foster Care
Foster Care Institute​ Dr. John DeGarmo Blog
by
1y ago
A few years back, we had a teenager placed into our home that lied about his mother on a daily basis. According to him, she had a great paying job as a manager of a major restaurant chain, had never been in trouble with the law, was a loving parent, and the greatest mother of all time. If you were to listen to him, his mother was a pillar of the community. In reality, she had been in jail, and had been there numerous times. She neglected her children, was addicted to Meth, and was both jobless and homeless. Yet, despite our knowledge of the truth, we did not criticize him for lying, nor criti ..read more
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