April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is a beautiful time of year in our area. The trees are green again, the flowers are in bloom, and the smell of jasmine is in the air. But it is also National Child Abuse Prevention month, a time to raise awareness that not all children are growing up in safe and loving environments. In fact in our area alone, 10 children enter foster care every day and there are over 3000 children living away from their families as a result of some form of abuse or neglect. Although most of these children will be reunited with their families, there are still over 20% who will not be reunited and are in need of loving and permanent families
Over the course of the past year we have written a series of blogs that highlighted what is needed for families to successfully adopt children from foster care. For those of you who have thought about these children and wondered whether you had what it takes to successfully parent these kids, here is an abbreviated list of the characteristics of successful adoptive parents.
- Love of children and an ability to focus on children’s needs
- Evidence of an ability to take risks, especially related to children
- Well established, open, and direct patterns of communication in the marriage/partnership and in other relationships
- Perseverance or an ability to wait for the child’s commitment while making one’s pledge without reservations
- Operative support systems
- Intact sense of self-satisfaction that does not need to be shored up by the child
- Sense of humor and proportion
- Emotional maturity
- Lack of judgmental attitude toward the birth family and willingness to learn and include the child’s past in the family and being able to confront and discuss directly with the child any abuse done to the child
- Find differences interesting
Of course, you will learn more about how to be a successful parent to children in foster care if you take that first step from inquiry. With April being Child Abuse Prevention month it is important to remember that those children who can’t be returned to their birth families deserve the love and stability that can only be gotten from a forever family.
Visit Sierraff.org to learn more about adopting children from foster care.