How Coronavirus Affects Foster Care Worldwide

I am a mother of five kids. Two of them are biological, while the other three are adopted. My husband and I decided to adopt for the first time when I did not think that I could bear a child. We had been married for seven years at the time, but no fertility method was working. So, we decided to ask orphanages about the possibility of adopting a baby.

That’s when we found Michael, our first son. I fell in love with his curly hair and big eyes as soon as I saw him, and the adoption process started right away. Miraculously, a year after that, I got pregnant with twins, so my husband and I felt very blessed.

A couple of years later, though, the head of the same orphanage where we got Michael contacted us. She commended us first for raising the boy fantastically and then talked about twin babies who were left outside their gate. She said, “It would be incredible if we could find a home for the two of them.” After a long conversation with my husband, we decided to drive down to the orphanage. Given the number of kids that I mentioned above, well, you know that we took those babies in and cared for them like our own.


Now, the story of Michael and the young twins is not rare. There are plenty of abandoned, abused, or orphaned children across the globe who need to love and feel loved. Thus, as someone who has adopted three kids, I worry about the foster care system worldwide, especially now that there is a coronavirus outbreak.

Here are some things I have learned.

Fewer Kids May Get Adopted Legally

Adoption sounds like an easy task for outsiders, but that’s not true at all. Besides your lack of interest in hurting the child in any way, the judges determine if you can handle another kid financially.

Because of the lockdown, though, a high number of individuals cannot go to work. Even if someone has savings, it may not suffice to pay the bills, get groceries, and hire a lawyer to process the adoption papers. The result is that the legal adoption comes to a halt and may only resume when everything goes back to normal again.


More Parents Have Been Reported For Child Abuse

The lockdown that prevails in many countries has put adults in an awful place, mentally speaking. Being cooped up in the same house for days can make you cranky or snappy. If a person has some form of addiction, anger management problem, or other issues, it is not surprising for them to become violent towards the children under their care. It explains the rise of child abuse cases everywhere and pushes the court to deny such people’s requests to adopt kids.

The Silver Lining: Deserving Parents In Canada Don’t Need To Wait For The End Of Lockdown Before Getting The Adoption Papers Approved By The Court

I read a touching article the other day about a Canadian couple who were trying to adopt a baby girl. Their court appearance got postponed due to the lockdown, but the kind judge allowed them to do everything through a video conference. Before the call ended, therefore, the baby girl became their daughter legally.


My research is admittedly not extensive enough to know if the other countries intend to follow suit. However, this new process ensures that deserving parents need not wait any longer before their adoption papers get signed by a judge. The more it happens, the more kids can grow up in a nurturing home.

Final Thoughts

It breaks my heart as a parent to know that there are children in the world who need to wait longer before getting adopted due to COVID-19. It pains me more, though, that some foster parents turn violent because of the situation. The latter leaves the child hurt and homeless.

My only prayer at this point is that the foster care system in every part of the globe will be as good as the one in Canada. This way, the kids and their adoptive parents can all live blissfully.

Being A Mother To Another’s Child


My sister-in-law brought me to the 2018 Child Fostering Summit that she helped organize as a social worker involved in child fostering. I had nothing else to do that day, and to be honest, I just came out of a bad relationship. Well, it was a non-existent relationship since we were supposed to be boyfriend-girlfriend and yet, I haven’t seen my supposed boyfriend for the past two months. But he was around, oh boy, was he “around.”

Continue reading “Being A Mother To Another’s Child”

Reaching Out



What Am I Allowed To Ask?


Any cancer sufferer will tell you that it is not uncommon for relationships with friends and family to change after being diagnosed. The most important thing to remember is that your diagnosis affects those around you as well. It is also not uncommon for people close to you to go through the same emotions you will during this time and this often affects the dynamics of relationships.


A wise teacher in graduate school was fond of telling us burgeoning therapists,  “It’s not what you say to patients that’s important, it’s what you say next.” — Mindy Greenstein Ph.D.

Friends and family may experience a wave of different emotions, including sadness, fear, anxiety and more. These emotions play an intricate part in the dynamics of relationships and often result in family and friends masking these emotions which often results in strained the relationship. Not to mention that most often conversations are strained or even fleeting as people are not sure what topics to avoid or address.


The fear of adding more strain on already fragile relationships, the cancer sufferer tend to withdraw their own emotions from the equation in order to try to alleviate the stress on those around them. This means that they often overlook their own mental health and pretend that everything is fine in order to spare friends and family any further stress and pain.


Have You Spoken To A Stanger?

 The impact of hearing the possibility of cancer was crippling, even at first. But once it was confirmed, in a matter of days my body began to fall apart as I lost the mental capacity to will myself to keep moving. — Maia Delmoor, MS, LPC, CAADC


“Before my diagnosis, I didn’t know anything about cancer. Now, I have met so many people with so many different kinds of cancer experiences—and I really go back to the idea that no one should ever have to go through cancer alone.” – Lloyd K., Cancer Experience Registry Participant

Holding back your emotions, whether you are the sufferer or a loved one will only be more detrimental to your mental health. There are a number of online communities and forums moderated by medical professionals and patients where one can address your fears, ask questions, and seek advice.


‘Stranger Chat’ will allow you to freely and without prejudice to ask questions, voice your fears and seek advice and guidance on how to deal with the conundrum of emotions you are experiencing.


Cancer Is Cancer


There are so many different types of cancers, some you might recognize by name, and others you might not. The point is that cancer is cancer. Your diagnosis is no less scary or important as the next cancer patient. Your emotions and how you feel are no less important. You fears are no less real and you are allowed to feel these emotions.


 According to the American Psychological Association, researchers have estimated that anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of cancer patients have symptoms of depression. Drastic changes in lifestyle and the fear and anxiety that accompany a chronic, sometimes fatal, disease can impact the emotional well being of the sturdiest of patients. — Jane Framingham, Ph.D.

Reach Out


There is a number of ways you can reach out and include family and friends in your diagnosis without these relationships being strained or stressful. Here are a few suggestions that might help in relieving some of the strain.




  • It can be stressful to have to repeat medical information or answer questions about treatment or progress. It helps to have one member of the family that you can trust to communicate this information with other friends and family. It helps to alleviate the emotions that these conversations can bring.
  • Reach out to family and friends. Take the lead and give them guidance during conversations. If you feel comfortable discussing your diagnosis, bring up the subject.
  • Do not pretend. If you are feeling down, say so, if you need help, ask for it. You are allowed to feel emotional and by asking and accepting help when offered, you are giving people a chance to deal with the emotions they could be feeling with regard to your diagnosis. Also do not be afraid to speak out, if someone is being overbearing or if you need space, say so.
  • Try maintaining social relationships, if you are feeling up to, participate in family gatherings. Do not close yourself off and it will also allow you to maintain some sense of normality. Share with people what you can and cannot deal with, do not be afraid to be honest.

Say It Out Loud


Dealing with the Emotions

 The mental fatigue and the loss of bodily control that comes along with a cancer diagnosis can cause great stress. The components of the diagnosis and treatment regime can easily overwhelm a person. — Maia Delmoor, MS, LPC, CAADC



Experiencing shock or disbelief is not uncommon after being diagnosed with cancer. Although emotions like sadness, anxiety or depression may be considered unhealthy it is also normal to feel these emotions when facing the reality of being diagnosed with cancer.


Excerpt from


“Psycho-oncologists, who address the emotional needs of cancer patients, have determined that a healthy emotional response to a cancer diagnosis includes three phases—initial reaction, distress, and adjustment—that will take patients through a typical grieving process.”


It Starts With Support




Being diagnosed with cancer can be stressful for anyone. Seeking advice, support or guidance to deal with these emotions is not only good for your mental health but also your physical health. Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on your sleeping pattern, contribute to insomnia and affect your appetite, all of which will have an impact on your physical health.


You can seek out support from a number of sources including therapy near you, social workers or even family or friends. Some hospitals also offer support groups. No matter the resources you choose, dealing with your emotions and being emotionally prepared can decrease stress and anxiety. It is important to remember that your emotional needs are different from the next person, what works for one person, may not work for you. Therapy is not a one size fits all case so it is important you remember to find what works for you.

The transition from a “normal” life to one with cancer can overwhelm a patient with many fears, the biggest being fear of the unknown. Cancer patients experiencing treatments for the first time can be filled with so much anxiety that they develop anticipatory nausea and vomiting. — Jane Framingham, Ph.D.

Maintaining Your Mental Health




Being diagnosed with cancer can be stressful for anyone. Seeking advice, support or guidance to deal with these emotions is not only good for your mental health but also aids in reducing the negative impact on your physical being.


Excerpt From: Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.


In response to a request from the National Institutes of Health, this report puts forth a plan delineating actions that cancer care providers, health policy makers, educators, health insurers, health plans, researchers and research sponsors, and consumer advocates should take to better respond to the psychological and social stresses faced by people with cancer, and thereby maximize their health and health care.


More than ten and a half million people in the United States live with a past or current diagnosis of some type of cancer (Ries et al., 2007); 1.4 million Americans are projected to receive a new diagnosis of cancer in 2007 alone (Jemal et al., 2007). Reflecting cancer’s reach, 1 in 10 American households now includes a family member who has been diagnosed or treated for cancer within the past 5 years (USA Today et al., 2006), and 41 percent of Americans can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life (Ries et al., 2007).


Cancer and the Effect on Your Mental Health




Seeking out the support of a therapist is an important part of your treatment plan.  With support, you will be in a better position to deal with emotions and feel less anxious while allowing you the time to focus on your physical health. It also helps to speak with those closest to you. It allows both yourself and your loved ones to face the reality of physical health.

Whether you’re diagnosed with cancer or just having a discouraging day, communicating with a loved one feels like the right move. And in fact, a great deal of science suggests that it is. — Kory Floyd Ph.D.

Find what works for you. Look at the various types of therapy available and find the resources that best suit your needs. It is important that you are comfortable and able to interact in your therapy. Start your journey to recovery with a healthy mind. Do not be afraid to feel emotions or to seek out support. It all starts with saying it out loud.


There was no medal at the finish of this challenge, but the prize was the gift of life.“ BROWN RIBBON: A Personal Journey Through Anal Cancer And The Adventure It Entailed by Robbi Woolard



Telling Your Children That They’re Adopted


For families with foster children, conversations about adoption may be difficult to navigate. Some parents dread the day that their children will ask about the nature of their entry into the family. People often give conflicting advice on how to handle this issue. Hence, parents end up with this question: how do you tell your children that they’re adopted?

This conversation needs to happen, sooner or later. Parents need to know how to steer the conversation in a way that minimizes the stress imposed on their children. The focus here is to let them know that their families love them regardless of the circumstance.

While they are young and inquisitive, and have their trust in you for helping them to shape many of their world views, you are in the best position to address sensitive information about their birthparents. This is a position that will only last for a brief number of years. — Jennifer Bliss Psy.D., LCSW


What’s the best time to inform your children of their adopted status? Experts generally agree that earlier is better. Interestingly though, parents throughout history tend to do the opposite. Many families delay this crucial conversation up until the child is already an adult themselves. In some cases, the children never get to know that they’re adopted.

These people argue that very young children cannot fully comprehend the implications of adoption. By waiting until the children are old enough, they believe that they’ll be able to take the news with grace.


However, precisely the opposite happens. By delaying the news, loved ones give the impression that they’re lying to their children all these years. This revelation also challenges core beliefs and can shake the self-identities of adopted children. Revealing the news at older ages tends to cause more strife and increases the mental stress that the children feel.

By discussing the topic of adoption at a very early stage, parents can normalize the issue and remove any stigma that the children might feel. Their children will believe that adoption is just as usual as being born and raised by the same set of parents. Hence, there is minimal stress and the risk of an identity crisis.

Many foster families or adoptive families struggle with the unknown; that is, the lack of information they have on the child’s upbringing, trauma experiences, and attachment to their birth parents. —

The key here is to discuss the topic using age-appropriate methods. When disclosing information to anyone at a tender age, it’s okay to simplify the subject to avoid confusion. Just make sure to be truthful and clarify any misconceptions that might develop.



Another technique for holding the conversation on adoption is to assure the child that adoption is a normal process that happens regularly. Children might think that they’re somehow inferior to others just because they underwent adoption. Expect these thoughts to occur to them and reassure them that adoption is not a source of shame.

Psychologists and adoption researchers have not yet come to agreement as to whether or not adoptees, when compared to non-adoptees are at higher risk for a host of psychological and interpersonal difficulties. However, after devoting many years to this very question, Dr. David Brodzinsky, a preeminent scholar in the field, came to believe that while being adopted sets the adoptee on a lifetime search for identity, meaning and connection, he is no more or less at risk psychologically because of being adopted. — Lawrence Rubin Ph.D, ABPP, LMHC, RPT-S

Also, answer any queries to the best of your ability. If they express the desire to know more about their birth parents, encourage that curiosity. Never demonize the birth parents. This way, you’re setting up an open and non-threatening environment for your children to talk about adoption. This openness reinforces the belief that adoption is typical. 

Finally, emphasize your unconditional love. Your children need to know that they don’t have to fulfill any requirements to obtain your love and care.

Many adopted children believe that they need to prove their worth to their parents. Reassure them that they always have your love, and they’ll better accept their adoption as a positive part of their identity.

3 Hidden Fears of Adoptees

When my wife and I adopted our first child, we were aware, at least intellectually, that adoption was as much about loss as it was about being found. — Lawrence Rubin Ph.D, ABPP, LMHC, RPT-S

children anxiety


Living inside the foster care system is a lonely and complicated life. So, when a child gets adopted by an altruistic family, everyone expects a happy ending for the adoptee.


What everyone doesn’t realize is that adoption doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘happy ending’ for the adoptee. They may still carry the same fears that were developed during their stay in the foster care system.


Fear of Separation

anxiety on children


The moment a foster child has been removed from their biological parent’s company, the fear of separation has started their spur and grows. Studies have shown that separating a newborn from their mothers can have traumatic effects on both the mother and the child.


For example, placing the newborn in the nursery for nine months before returning the child to the mother can result in a lack of confidence and anxiety in the child. So, what more if the child is separated from the mother indefinitely?


Fear of separation is a rational fear that has started to develop from the moment the child has been placed in the foster care. It may also have developed through pregnancy with the influence of the mother’s feelings of unhappiness and not wanting the child.

Many of my clients often end up being adopted or placed in a therapeutic foster home with caregivers who have experience with psychiatric conditions. But some of these same families end up reporting that they are unable to further care for the child with severe mental or behavioral health challenges and “re-home” or place the child back into the foster care system. —

Fear of Abandonment

anxiety for children


Along with the fear of separation, the fear of abandonment is developed in the early years of the child’s stay in the foster care system.


Leslie Johnson shared her feelings of being adopted in an article at the Huffington Post. She stated that her younger self has always believed that she might be abandoned, which caused her to develop separation anxiety.


The fear of abandonment is a fear rooted from the fear of separation and the traumatic experience of being left by their biological parents in the foster care system. Adoptees, especially children, will question why they were left alone by their biological parents and if it can happen again.


Sadly, this question is answered by adoptees through searching for faults in themselves and believing that they can be abandoned again.

Fear of Rejection

anxieties of children


At some point in an adoptee’s life, they will begin to question what their biological parents look like, where they are, or how their life is. This curiosity will motivate adoptees to look for their biological parents, which then creates another fear: rejection.


The search for their biological parents may scare the adoptee as they believe it might hurt their foster parents. They are afraid that their parents will think that the reason why their child is searching for their biological parents is that they are unsatisfied of the love and care of their foster parents.

You can help your children to understand where they came from and be available to help them to frame and process the information in the most positive manner. — Jennifer Bliss Psy.D., LCSW

Adoptees may also feel scared of meeting their biological parents. If they feel like their biological parents may show an ounce of dislike for them, they might cancel the search immediately.


Finding the biological parents is a milestone of achievement for the adoptee as it would help them to search and to develop their true identity. Regardless, it is a journey that is filled with anxiety and a lot of uncertainty.

How Fostering Your Siblings Works


Most children and teens in the foster care system have experienced significant rejection, whether their biological parents ignored their most fundamental needs or acted violently against them in some way to bring a false semblance of control to the chaos of their own lives. — Blake Griffin Edwards, MSMFT, LMFT

Most of the time, siblings put into foster care have already been through so much. They need each other to get through difficult times and support each other in the absence of their legitimate parents. However, when all possibilities have been exhausted, the foster care system allows these children to be split into different caregivers or homes. An alternative solution to avoiding sibling separation and saving sibling relationships falls upon the sibling at least 18 years of age.

Kinship Foster Care

Can I Foster My Siblings?

Yes, it is possible. An older sibling may foster their immediate brothers and sisters, stepsiblings, and cousins. Fostering your siblings is along the lines of relatives fostering their nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. This type is called kinship foster care.

How Am I Considered Legible In Fostering For Them?

Foster care for siblings involves the active role of the local authorities as they perform thorough assessments. Therefore, the sibling must qualify as a caregiver by undergoing a strict evaluation from the social worker.

Applying for fostering siblings requires the carer to be at least 18 years old with a stable source of income and residence of their own. Local authorities urge aspiring foster carers to check their local laws on the foster care requirements. Once approved, the foster carer signs a foster agreement confirming their roles, responsibilities, and limitations as the carer.

…you are looking for caregivers who not only have the capacity to parent just as any typical American parent would, but you are also looking for caregivers who have the capacity to parent children effectively who have mental health conditions, sometimes coupled with physical health conditions, sometimes coupled with developmental conditions. — Jill Duerr Berrick, PhD


Is Any Support Given To Foster Carers Like Me?

In this setup, carers receive developmental and financial support from local authorities. The state supervises the children’s upbringing and requires carers to work with professionals while the children are under their care. This kind of development support helps carers learn techniques from professionals.

They also receive training to improve their parenting skills. Older siblings fostering their siblings receive allowances to support the child and kinship care payments.

Informal Kinship Care                                                                                                 

This setup is typical among grandparents who take over as parents after a kid’s parents have gone. The difference between informal and kinship care lies in the appointment of the guardian, the duration of the child’s stay, and the support given by the government.

[Social services] always assesses to see if the child(ren) can remain in the home while supportive and strengthening services are offered to the parents.  However, if it is determined that child(ren) cannot safely remain in their homes during this time and we will further assess to see if they can be placed with relatives, as placement with a family member usually serves the best interests of the child due to the continuity of family connections, ties and identity. — Meredith Resnick L.C.S.W.

Appointment And Supervision

In fostering a child, kinship foster care shares similarities with informal kinship care. However, the informal way involves birth parents assigning a foster parent without local authorities’ direction. Some cases involve birth parents making verbal agreements with the concerned carers to care for their child in their absence. Without a formal appointment, the government cannot supervise the child’s foster carers.


Duration Of Foster Care

Compared to kinship foster care, the informal route gives parents the power to take the children back at any given time. Unlike in kinship foster care, there is no contract to honor in this setup. Under due process, the government also has the power to take children away from neglectful foster families despite the informal arrangement.

Support For Informal Arrangements

Under informal kinship, the birth parents are usually responsible for financially supporting the child. Besides, universal support is available to all children regardless of needs. Carers may also apply for additional support based on their discretion. The Child Services department grants this extra help.

In the end, when you are an older sibling trying to look out for the best interests of your kin, you can always choose to become their foster carer. Both kinship and informal foster care have pros and cons. It is crucial to ponder whether you are indeed capable financially, physically, and mentally for such a great but fulfilling responsibility.

Give Them a Voice-Americas Homeless Veterans

Did You Know?

someone to talk


The most recent Global Homeless Reports estimated that there are more than over 100 million homeless people worldwide.  In America alone, it is estimated that these numbers range between 1.6 million and 3.5 million. Due to the transient nature of the homeless population, exact counts by state or community are not available and estimates are based on data available from a number of sources. It is also estimated that 11% of the total homeless population is made up of adult Veterans.

Based on reports and data from The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, it is estimated that over 39,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

Once a veteran gives his or her life over to combat, their life perspective, mind, and emotions change, sometimes for the worst. — Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Who Are These Homeless Men And Women?

homeless veteran


These are men and women that served in the American Armed forces during:


  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Cold War
  • Vietnam War
  • Grenada
  • Panama
  • Lebanon
  • Persian Gulf War
  • Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF)


It is also estimated that nearly 50% of these homeless veterans served America during the Vietnam War.

 A cohort study collecting data on 310,685 individuals who served in the military from 2005 to 2006 reported a five-year homeless incidence at 3.7 percent after leaving the military. That same study identified the strongest predictors of homelessness as military pay grade, substance abuse, and being diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. — Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.

Everyone Has Their Own Story


There are a number of reasons that influenced how these men and women end up being part of America’s homeless statistics. These include:

  • Skills learned while serving in the military aren’t transferable into the US civilian workforce
  • Mental Health Disorders such as Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and more. Although there are a number of resources available in terms of therapy and someone to talk to, accessing these resources is often not simple in terms of accessibility etc
  • Physical limitations and disabilities
  • Substance abuse

Each and every one of these men and women have their own story. Joe’s Story is one that will remind us that these people are soldiers who are proud. Many returned with physical and emotional wounds and rather battle the difficulty and challenges of being homeless than accept handouts.

Many PTSD symptoms are thought of as “typical” reactions to overwhelming events, but what separates a “typical” reaction from PTSD is the intensity and persistence of the symptoms; for example, they often get worse, rather than better with time. PTSD can severely interfere with normal life functioning such as the ability to hold down a job or maintain healthy relationships with friends and family, which can result in an increased risk of homelessness. — Robert T Muller Ph.D.

Let’s Not Forget Why We Should Remember Them


“Sitting in front of my fireplace, basking in it’s warm glow gives me time to reflect upon the sacrifices that it has taken for me to enjoy the security of a good home, in a safe environment. I can hear the soft whisper of the snow as it caresses my window and covers the ground outside in a scintillating display of sparkling lights under the full moon.

How many times have our service men and women watched this same scene from a foxhole, or camped in some remote part of the world. Thankful for the silence of that moment, knowing it won’t last long. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He/she dresses in fatigues and patrols the world restlessly, ensuring that we can have this peaceful night.

Every day they give us the gift of this lifestyle that we enjoy, and every night they watch over us. They are warriors, angels, guardians, friends, brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, forming a family that stretches back to the beginning of the country. So tonight when you go to bed say a prayer that God watch over those who watch over us, and thank them for their sacrifices, on and off the battlefield.

Pray that they have a peaceful night, and will be home soon with their families who also share their burden. Without them we would not have this moment.” ― Neil Leckman

What Can I Do?


  • Start in your own community and see what projects or programs there are to aid homeless veterans. Speak to local churches, soup kitchens, and shelters.
  • Take the time to share a meal with one of these veterans, you can also arrange for meal tickets with a local diner. You can also take the time to make up a plate for holidays such as Thanksgiving.
  • Volunteer your time and resources.
  • Research agencies and coalitions and make inquiries about how you an assist with homeless veterans
  • Donate to veteran organizations and charities

Give these men and women a voice. Enquire about becoming a Veterans Advocate.


Pros And Cons Of Becoming A Foster Parent

Adopting or fostering a child (or teenager) will take a great deal of support from your “village” and knowledge about attachment, trauma, and patience. — 

Deciding if you are ready to become a foster parent might be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Fostering a child is not an easy way of life. It is something that will change you and your perspective indefinitely. To consider your choices, here are some pros and cons of becoming a foster parent.

Cons Of Becoming A Foster Parent

Social Workers May Not Tell You Everything

As a foster parent, you have to learn how to provide for your child. This aspect of foster parenting applies to their physical, mental, and emotional health.

However, social workers may not give you complete information about the child’s needs. This lack of data can leave you confused and lost. Take note that it is crucial to inquire about everything. No bit of information is too trivial for your child’s sake.


Judgment From Other People

People are quick to judge, and you might receive unwanted attention. Questions, comments, and stares can test your strength. Aside from that, social workers will also check and see if you are suitable enough for childcare. The best way to deal with judgment is patience, a sense of humor, and determination that you want to care for the child.

Trust Goes Both Ways

Many children under foster care came from abusive families. To foster a child means you have to consider this fact. They might not trust you at first because they are in a foreign environment. You have to be patient in providing stability in their lives.

Leaving Your Home

In some cases, the child will leave their foster homes and go back to their birth parents. This situation varies at any given time. The level of trust you have with the child, their legal representative and their birth parent is essential. If this scenario occurs, you have to learn how to let go and hope for the best.


Families who are parenting children from hard places need to develop skills for how to parent children with trauma histories and attachment difficulties. — Jamie D. Aten Ph.D.

Pros Of Becoming A Foster Parent

Helping Children Who Need A Home

Irresponsibility runs rampant all around the world. As a result, some children are born in unfair situations. Becoming a foster parent allows you to change that. You will be able to provide a positive influence for children and be the change this world needs.

Aid Is By Your Side

You do not have to bear the responsibility all alone. Once you become a foster parent, there will be various resources and support for your family. There is training provided for learning how to raise a foster child. Monetary compensation is also given to help you get started. Depending on the state you live in, there will be benefits such as free grocery supplies and school lunch programs.


Foster Parenting Can Be Rewarding

There is no better feeling than witnessing your child grow under your care. Your unrelenting patience, determination, and love will come to fruition. When it does, it will give you a sense of accomplishment as a parent. The experience of foster parenting is unforgettable, and you will get rewarded for your efforts.

Researchers discovered the key ingredient to successful parenting is how well the parents work together and support each other as a couple. — Rick Nauert PhD

Being a foster parent is a blessing and an opportunity that will change you. Your view on life, love, and family are guaranteed to change. It will be worth it, despite the hardships. You will realize that at the end of this experience, you and your child have grown to become better.

Minding Mental Health

Hand In Hand

depression chat


In a recent blog, Homeless and Mental Health, it suggests that homelessness and mental health in most instances go hand in hand. Mental Health Disorders can create circumstances in which a person can become homeless and vice-versa, when being homeless can increase the instances of the individual developing a mental health disorder.

The homeless are defined by U.S. federal legislation as people who “lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” Determining how many homeless people there really are remains a perennial problem. — Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.

Seeking out support and therapy for mental health disorders can be simple as typing in ‘depression chat rooms’ into a search engine to find support and therapy resources. This however is not the case amongst the homeless and transient communities with limited access to resources and technology which often results in these disorders going untreated.


Research Shows


  • ±33% of the homeless are people with serious untreated mental illnesses
  • The most common mental health disorders amongst the homeless are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizoaffective disorder
  • More than 30% of people released from mental institutions became homeless within 6 months of their release
  • There has been a steady increase in homelessness in cities and small towns since the 70’s


The Link between Mental Health Disorders and Homelessness


To understand the link between mental health and homelessness, one must understand how the affects and disruptions mental health disorders can have of the daily lives of an individual with any one of many mental health disorders. The symptoms and side effects can include:


  • The inability to carry out basic essential self-care tasks such as hygiene and household management
  • The challenges associated with maintaining acceptable work performance or the inability to keep employment
  • Withdrawing and isolating themselves which results in not being able to maintain relationships with friends and family
    • Increased substance abuse or self-medicating which can lead to increased addictions which add their own set of challenges in addition to those presented by mental health disorders.

The nation’s homeless are typically incapable of paying for emergency and other services out of pocket, often having little to no income with which to fund exorbitantly expensive bills. Additionally, the homeless are usually without any sort of health insurance. — John Smith Ph.D.

Painting the Picture


A recent report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness indicates that:


  • Approximately 9.8 million adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness that affects or interferes with one or more major life activities in a given year
  • Approximately 26% of the homeless adults staying in shelters are living with serious mental health disorders
  • 70% of the youth in juvenile facilities have at least one mental health condition
  • Less than half of adults in the U.S. with a mental health disorderhave received assistance from health services
  • Research shows that Mental illness was the third largest cause of homelessness for single adults


The Result of Lack of treatment


For the most part, people with untreated mental disorders have difficulty living alone or fitting in with families and communities. Often as a result of the signs, symptoms and effects of these disorders, these individuals are unable to participate in the simplest tasks self-care and self-preservation.


It is also not uncommon in some communities that people with mental disorders are shunned and face the challenges and difficulties of discrimination. As a result of the combined results of the symptoms and side effects of untreated mental disorders, many become homeless.

Many believe that homelessness is the result of lack of motivation, substance abuse, or poverty. But the reality is that homelessness is also the result of abuse, trauma, and mental illness among many other factors. —

There Is Always Hope




Excerpt from The Cost Of Not Caring


“Dorothy Edwards knows the despair and paranoia that cripple the mentally ill from seeking help and finding an apartment. For eight years, Edwards, 56, wandered the streets of Pasadena, Calif., sleeping in alleys, scouring Dumpsters for scraps of food and smoking meth to fend off a crushing depression. Her teeth were rotting, and sores broke out all her over body. She was sexually assaulted repeatedly and had her belongings stolen multiple times.


When things got truly bleak, Edwards would check herself into the psych ward of a hospital, only to be back on the streets within days. Various friends ravaged emotionally by the homeless life had flung themselves off the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, known locally as “suicide bridge.” She considered using the bridge herself, she says.”