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Therapeutic Foster Parent Testimonial

We've reached out to our Therapeutic Foster Parents asking them to share their stories, experiences, and reasons for opening their homes to the children of AK Child & Family. This first testimonial is from Mama Sisay, currently a Therapeutic Foster Parent and former staff of AK Child & Family's Community Programs.

Q: How initially did you get into Therapeutic Foster Care? How long have you been doing foster care?

A: I started doing foster care in 2006 for Denali Family Services and the state Office of Children’s Services. I transferred to AK Child & Family in 2009. Previous to providing foster care I was a Case Manager in different areas of social services. There are so many children in this community who need care and assistance. One night, as a Case Manager, I was searching for a home for a child on my caseload and there were no homes for her. It was frustrating and heartbreaking. I thought in my mind, "I have two empty rooms in my home; why not help a child in need of a home?" I am a foster parent because there are so many children in need of homes, love, assistance and care. I help prepare them for adulthood and give them a place to call home.

Q: What are the successes and challenges of being a Therapeutic Foster Parent?

A: What is so rewarding for me is the lasting relationships I have with the kids who have been in my home and learning from the children. I just had a baby shower for one of my previous girls. Her whole family came to dinner. She is getting married, has a job and a car. I am so proud of her and I feel blessed that I get to watch her thrive and become a mother. You learn so much for the children in your home, such as patience and how to build positive relationships.
Challenges for me as a foster parent is when biological families do not want to participate in treatment; or in general miscommunications with members on the treatment team.

Q: Is there anything you would like for potential Therapeutic Foster Parents to know?

A: I would want them to know they will be in good hands if they decide to be a Foster Parent for AK Child & Family. They will get the support they need, whether the support is through a Case Manager, Licensing Coordinator or Activity Therapist. I consider AK Child & Family a family, and I feel like a part of that family.