From Nancy Gannon Hornberger, CEO
May is National Foster Care Month acknowledging foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policy makers, child welfare professionals, advocates, youth in foster care, former foster youth, and all members of the community who advocate for youth in foster care and their families, and who provide permanent, safe homes and caring connections for them.
Here at SAY San Diego, this month and every month, we are committed to ensuring a bright future for more than 2,100 children and youth in foster care in our county (down from nearly 4,900 a decade ago). We celebrate all who work daily, as we do, to prevent child abuse and neglect, prevent out of home placements, heal trauma, cultivate nurturing family bonds, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of children who suffer the trauma of abuse and neglect.
Featured below is Adrianne, a grandmother who provides foster care as a relative, also known as kinship caregiving, to her granddaughter. Foster and kinship parents give of themselves to form a bond with a child who may be separated from siblings, in addition to the hardships of abuse, neglect, and removal from their parents. Due to uncertainty, changing family dynamics, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma, children in foster care may act out or have behavioral issues that challenge their foster parents – even if they are relatives. Below, you’ll read about how SAY San Diego supports foster parents and kinship caregivers through Project KEEP.
Critical Support for Foster Parents
SAY San Diego’s Project KEEP provides a much-needed support system for foster parents and kinship caregivers. The program teaches foster parents new skills to nurture children, manage child behavior, and decrease stress — especially for children dealing with trauma.
For Adrianne, a grandmother raising her granddaughter as a kinship foster parent, Project KEEP has been an invaluable resource. She says, “Project KEEP keeps me up-to-date on new parenting techniques and educates me on how to best raise my teenage granddaughter who is beautiful and witty, but sometimes difficult. I enjoy the conversations in the group and hearing what the other grandparents and foster parents have experienced. I like to take in all the information and try to use it with my granddaughter. Project KEEP has taught me to be more calm, cool, collected, consistent, and patient.”