Letter 2 November 26, 2013

To whom it may concern:

I have been following the Fatal Care series and I am saddened by the children’s deaths. The thought of losing a child before their time is heart breaking. I have three children of my own and I am the proud auntie to four almost five amazing children. Three of these children my sister and her husband adopted because they could not have children of their own. Since our family was blessed with these three amazing children who came to us from the government of Alberta’s adoption program. My husband and I felt we could give back by becoming foster parents. We have now been fostering for almost four years. We have had the pleasure of helping care and love for seven little one through fostering.

We have had many different experiences with each child we have had in our home but any negative experience we’ve encountered has been with the public. People who have no knowledge of what is involved in becoming, maintaining, and continuing to foster will form opinions on what they see and hear from out side sources. For example, the Fatal Care series. I agree that everyone should be aware of the issue and flaws that the system has, however I would love to see someone put in even half the effort and an eighth of the man power to put together a story that shows what the majority of foster home look like. How much we care and love these children as if they were our own.

From the minute a child comes into our home we treat them as if they were are biological children. These children come into foster care for a variety reasons, it may be as simple as their mother needs time to find a house and a job to support herself as well as her children. However, can not do so on her own with the kids because she is running from a very violent partner so she turns her kids over to the government knowing they can help her and her children. It could be for reasons as tragic as the parents were killed and there was no family found immediately so care is needed until family can be found. Children are removed from the care of their biological parents due to safety or risk to the child’s life. These apprehensions are not taken lightly and an investigation is done prior to the apprehension when ever possible to see if there are family supports that can be put in place to maintain the family structure.

In cases were children are removed from the care of their parents and brought into foster care they can come with many different emotional, physiological, and physical issues. We as foster parents don’t always know to what extent these issue may be however we still open our homes and our hearts to these children. No matter what hurtles may come through the door with these little one, it is our job to help them overcome and thrive.

Unfortunately in some cases there are past exposures, be it physical abuse, drug abuse, prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol or sexual abuse that can result in medical conditions that can be fatal. These past exposures can also lead to behaviours and/or risk taking by the child that can also result in death.

Being a foster parent is not for the weak at heart. It is the most rewarding thing my family and I have ever done. Are we as a family putting our selves in a situation to be scrutinized? Yes. However I do not feel it is right of the media to paint foster care as a hole in a negative light. Have there been deaths of children in care? Yes. Were some of the deaths preventable? Yes.

Have new regulations and policies been put in place to prevent this from happening again? Yes. I feel it would be beneficial for your readers to be able to see into foster care from the foster parents side of reality.