We had the opportunity to interview the Matriarch of the Rosas family over the holiday break. Mrs. Margaret Rosas stated she wanted to be a foster parent for as long as she could remember. In elementary school, her favorite books were “Welcome Home Child” and “The Family Nobody Wanted.” She checked those books out multiple times, thinking of what her family would look like someday. She also comes from a large, culturally diverse home, where she enjoyed celebrating the uniqueness of each member's culture and abilities.
She believes the biggest myth about foster care is that “foster parents only do it for the money.” It takes a lot of training, knowledge, resources, advocacy, patience, commitment, and family support to become a foster family. Each child comes to your home with very specific needs and trauma. “You have to be mentally and physically able to deal with these needs to provide this child with the best emotional, medical, and therapeutic support possible to help them reach their potential. Foster parents have to be mindful of the many successful and rewarding accomplishments, as well as the many setbacks you will experience with this beautiful child.” She adds, “you will fiercely advocate for this child from day one, with schools, doctors, etc., because this child is now relying on and trusting their care to you. Foster care is the toughest job my family will ever love!”
The Rosas always check with DSS to ensure a birth family relationship is possible with that specific family. They developed healthy birth family relationships because their philosophy is “you have to know where you came from to know where you’re going.” Mrs. Rosas stated, “We have not walked in their shoes; therefore, we do not judge them or the situation that brought their child to foster care. We ask the parents and respect their opinions about certain routines for their child, haircuts and products used for grooming, a favorite story or song they may have, and bedtime routines.” Mrs. Rosas feels an open connection with birth families helps the family understand that they are still a very valued and essential part of their child’s life. Parents are also the best resource for information about their children. They have
pertinent information you can share with the child’s medical team or that can explain why the child has certain behaviors.
One thing Mrs. Rosas would like all children coming into foster care to know is that they are coming into a family who will support them in any way possible. Their job is to help them be successful in the goals set for themselves. “We are not taking them away from their families or replacing their birth families,” she says. “As a team, and now part of our family also, we want to help guide you into the best self you can be, achieving your dreams, acknowledging and valuing your opinions and thoughts, but most of all loving you unconditionally.”