I find great privilege in being able to share my family’s story within the therapeutic foster care system, through AK Child & Family. It is never an easy decision once you realize that your child needs help you are unable to provide to them at home. When I made the decision to seek help with Alaska Child & Family, I never thought it would include therapeutic foster care.
Our journey began with us placing my son at AK Child & Family, at the boys’ campus. There, he stayed in a “cottage” with a handful of other boys and a wonderful staff that was there 24/7. He had a therapist that he met with individually and as a family once a week. We always treated my son’s placement as treating the family, never just him. His therapist was always helpful in implementing programs that helped him make progress in his treatment, as well as processing with me through feelings and emotions. After about 8 months, we began to talk about what it would look like when he returned home. We still had many areas we felt we needed to work on, but realized that the setting wouldn’t last long term. Don’t get me wrong—he needed the inpatient setting to begin his treatment, but it was obvious we needed to explore therapeutic foster care.
I know when I think of foster care, I think of a child being removed from a home due to negligence by the parents. I think of the State taking over parental rights and making decisions that I may or may not agree with. This is far from that. I am and always have been the parent. AK Child & Family found a good match in a home that was within our son’s school zone and that had all boys. His foster parent has worked with us on the issues that he presents us with and is always there for guidance and support. He backs us up when we need it and gives us insight into how we should approach things. My son feels loved and cared for in his foster home and is continuing to grow and make progress towards a return to his family unit. His foster parent will always be a part of our extended family.
Growing strong children takes a village; AK Child & Family is the foundation of our village!