Interview by Edwina Poh of Epworth Foster Care
Foster care is the most ideal placement for children when they are unable to live with their birth families due to unforeseen circumstances. There are about 1,150 vulnerable children and young persons who are in Out-of-Home Care.
However, less than half of them are in foster care. We spoke to one of our foster mothers, Madam Tia, who had 4 children of her own. Here, she shares about her fostering journey which began in 2017, and some practical advice for those considering to foster.
What made you take the first step to foster children?
It has always been on my husband’s heart to foster children. However, I would brush the idea aside, saying that the family is “not ready” and that “our children are still young”. It was pushed to the back of his mind since. It was until one day when Vivienne Ng, a psychologist from Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), came to deliver a message on foster care at our church. Upon hearing what she shared, both my husband and I were touched by the Holy Spirit to foster a child. Before making a decision, we went to find out more about foster care by attending tea sessions by Epworth Community Services and Home For Good.
Our fostering journey finally began in 2017. We have fostered 3 children since.
What were some of your concerns on fostering?
Providing proper care for the foster children was one of our greatest concerns. We were also afraid that our youngest child would be jealous of having our attention divided among more children. There were also other practical concerns such as getting extra furniture.
What were some steps you took when you decided to foster children?
My husband and I made several preparations in our journey towards fostering. We attended courses organised by MSF to prepare ourselves to be foster parents. We prepared our birth children emotionally to accept a new member in the family. Our extended family was also informed about our new addition. In order for the foster child to feel comfortable and accepted, we made sure that our house was sufficiently equipped. A space of his own was given to him.
Most importantly, window grills, gates and doors were checked as we wanted to create a safe place for our foster child to be in.
”Seeing young children having to battle with their internal struggles at such a young age broke my heart. They had to go through being taken away from their birth family, then placed into an environment with complete strangers (foster family). The little inconveniences my family had to go through was nothing compared to all these terrifying experiences these young children went through.Madam TiaFoster Mother (Epworth Foster Care)