Nick* first entered foster care at the age of three. He spent some time in a county-level foster care but he needed a higher level of care than they could provide. He struggled with physical aggressions and needed a strict routine or he would tailspin out of control.
Tina* and Joseph* were newly licensed foster parents waiting for their first placement. The couple had two children at home and their only preference was to take female placements. Tara, their Nexus-PATH worker, called the couple and said she was looking for placement of a 3-year-old boy. After hearing his young age, they changed their mind and said yes.
Tara remembers how terrified Nick was on the day he moved into Tina and Joseph’s house. He made himself sick from crying and sobbing.
Joseph and Tina made it their mission to prove to Nick that they would take care of him. As the days went by, his fear slowly subsided. They discovered he was behind developmentally — he was barely speaking. They also took the time needed to build a relationship with both Nick and his parents, as they knew it was important for Nick to return home. Nick received appropriate diagnoses through services and was able to receive supportive services to help him flourish. By the time he returned home two years later, he was speaking in full sentences.
Building Lasting Relationships
Even though Nick is no longer in their care, they continue to have a relationship with him as “grandma and grandpa” by going out for ice cream, having sleep overs, and visiting via FaceTime. This foster care case is a great example of the benefit of a relationship between foster parents and the child’s parents.
Tina and Joseph now have another placement in their home – a 12-year-old boy who is blossoming in their care.
*Names and some details have been changed to protect privacy.