In honor of National Family Caregiver’s Month, we’ve interviewed Ms. Barbara, one of our youth’s caregivers.
Q: How long have you been a foster parent and what made you want to become one?
A: I have been a foster parent for approximately 34 years and I have not stopped. I’ve even become legal guardian to several kids. Before I was a foster parent, I worked at a daycare, and some of the children I cared for had special needs. I wanted to do more because I love children, you see. So, I started to take them in because I wanted to take care of them and help them become successful. I believe that it is my gift and assignment from God.
Q: How has UFC made a difference for you and the foster youth you care for?
A: UFC has really been a big help to me – they opened up many programs to help my girls be successful. I didn’t know a lot until they came along. I’ve known the UFC counselor I work with for a very long time. She is wonderful and has supported me a lot! I have a different view of being a foster parent now because of all the assistance there is. It has inspired my girls so much. The academic tutoring and activities they get are great. Those are things I can’t provide, and they really love. Everything UFC offers, my girls really love and benefit from.
Q: What do you want people to know about foster care?
A: Well, one thing I want people to know is that we are no longer called “foster parents”, we are called “resource parents”. I personally dislike the word “foster” because that label is hurtful. For all the children I’ve had under my care, that word is hurtful. Whenever a child comes into my home, I don’t consider that child as a foster child. I consider them a child that I’ll take care of as my own. They are not just a piece of something that’s thrown out. I accept them as a child of my own by the grace of God.
Thank you, Ms. Barbara, for sharing with us and for your beautiful work and service. It is humbling and inspiring.