By Kendra Lowden, Foster Care/Adoption Manager

Foster care is a temporary living situation for children whose parents are not currently able to care for them due to abuse and neglect. With support from FireLodge Children & Family Services, many Citizen Potawatomi Nation foster children successfully and safely return to their families. Some children may be placed for adoption should reunification not be possible. We answered some of the questions we are frequently asked by prospective families interested in fostering and adopting Potawatomi children.

Why should I become a foster parent for FireLodge Children & Family Services?

Our department offers individualized support and training for foster families. Our team includes experienced child welfare advocates focused on providing excellent customer service and emotional support to the families we serve. FireLodge also provides foster families essential items needed to care for children including cribs, beds and car seats.

What qualities are needed in a foster parent?

Successful foster parents are generally patient and understanding to the unique needs of children placed into foster care. They are willing to be flexible, tolerant and dependable while working closely with child welfare staff.

What is the difference between private adoption and adoption through foster care?

Private adoption occurs when birth parents voluntarily place their child for adoption with a family of their choice. Children available for adoption through foster care are placed into care involuntarily. The goal in foster care cases is normally to reunify children with their families. When this cannot happen, typically the relative or non-related foster family will adopt the children when it becomes legal to do so.

Can I adopt a Potawatomi foster child?

The goal of our department is to reunite families. Foster parents may be able to adopt their foster children if they cannot be returned home or placed with a relative. Many families successfully adopt their foster children.

What assistance is available to adoptive families?

Adoption assistance exists to remove the financial and other barriers that may prevent a family from adopting from foster care. Services available for adopted children may include daycare assistance, medical assistance, monthly maintenance payments and adoption attorney fees.

Although each and every situation is unique in child welfare, this is some basic information you can use to guide you through the process of deciding to open your home to children in need. For more information, contact FireLodge Children & Family Services at 405-878-4831 or on Facebook @CPNFireLodge.