Follow

A Fostered Life Podcast

Host Christy Tennant Krispin explores the various facets of foster care through the voices of people who participate in the system.

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Special Thanks to my newest Patron, Maureen, for supporting A Fostered Life!

Episode 17

I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me that they really want to be involved in foster care, and they really care about foster youth, but they are not in a season of life where they can be foster parents. They wonder how they can help.

How can you make a difference in the life of a foster youth without being a foster parent?

There are a number of ways to answer that question, and my guest in today’s podcast is going to talk about two of them. Laura was a volunteer cuddler in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for years before being introduced to a desperate need in the foster care system after caring for one particular baby for several months. She went through the training and eventually became a CASA - a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Over the six-plus years Laura has spent as a CASA, she has served twenty-three children, and in today’s episode, she’s going to share what that experience has been like and what you might expect if you are considering becoming a CASA.

I am so grateful for the work that Laura and others have done, and I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

# # #

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended readingyoutube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey.

ffp-cover.jpg

It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.  If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishig Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

subscribe-on-itunes.jpg

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

 
 

A listener shared some really important feedback on my interview with Kevin, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I thought what she shared was really important and wanted to pass it on.

Recorded live at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Special Thanks to Patrons Shelley & Joyce for supporting A Fostered Life Podcast!

Episode 16

MaLisa Riley is an author and entrepreneur who draws from her own experience as a youth in foster care to produce resources aimed at helping children in challenging circumstances use their imagination as they process some of the harder aspects of their reality. Her first children’s book, “Tommy’s 2 Mommies,” was published in 2019. The story follows young Tommy as he goes between his mom and his foster momma on a weekend visit to his mother’s treatment center. “Tommy’s 2 Mommies” features gorgeous illustrations by Roey Cancio is available on Amazon, and you can also find a link on A Fostered Life’s Recommended Resources page.

MaLisa shared about her experiences in foster care, as well as her reflections on being adopted at the age of twelve and then reconnecting with her parents as an adult.  As a foster and adoptive parent, I found MaLisa’s perspective and openness so insightful, and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended readingyoutube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey.

It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.  If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishig Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 15

One of the things I have been so grateful for over the past few years is connecting with former foster youth who are willing and eager to share about their experiences in foster care in order to shine light on what it’s like to be in foster care, and to de-stigmatize what it means to be a foster kid. In 2018, I heard an interview on Oregon Public Radio with Cherie Renee, a woman who was in foster care until she aged out of the system.

Today, Cherie is a blogger who describes herself as a "child abuse survivor and former foster child who is using her life as an inspiration to others," as well as a "dog mom" and "proud Jew." You can follow Cherie’s blog here and her Instagram account here.

I was so glad to connect with Cherie by phone recently, and and I’m thrilled that she agreed to be my guest on this podcast. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended readingyoutube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey.

It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.  If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishig Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 14

In Episode 13 of A Fostered Life Podcast, I interviewed author Jillana Goble about her book, “No Sugar Coating: The Coffee Talk You Need about Foster Parenting.” I announced in that episode that I would be giving away four copies of the book to four of my Patreon supporters. In this episode, I'm trying out my new Blue Yeti microphone as my mom draws the winning names from a baseball hat! Congratulations to the four listeners and supporters who won this month's giveaway!

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended readingyoutube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey.

It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.  If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishig Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 13

A few months ago, someone on Facebook alerted me to a new book by Jillana Goble called, “No Sugar Coating: The Coffee Talk You Need about Foster Parenting.” I got my hands on the book and as I read it, I kept nodding my head in agreement with the author. Our experiences have been very similar, and if I were going to write a book for new and prospective foster parents, it would look a lot like this book. It’s a short read—you’ll finish it in a day or two—but it’s full of relevant information and helpful insights for anyone considering becoming a foster parent.

“No Sugar Coating” is available on Amazon [affiliate link].

Click here to follow Jillana’s Facebook page and web site.

I was so impressed with “No Sugar Coating,” that I ordered several copies to give away to a few of my Patreon supporters! If you would like to be entered for your chance to win one of five copies of the book, go to my Patreon page and become a patron of A Fostered Life. You can pledge any amount you want, starting at $1 per month. Everyone who is a patron as of January 1, 2020 will be entered to win! 

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended reading, youtube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey.

It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.  If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishig Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

Like this podcast? Please rate it on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 12

In the last episode (Episode 11), I introduced you to Tonya Foulkrod. Our conversation covered a lot of ground, so I broke it up into two parts. In Episode 11, which was Part One, we heard about Tonya’s early experience as a foster parent and how she and her husband became involved with the mother of the child who was placed in their care, leading them to start a ministry focused on offering a more holistic way to support families in crisis.

In this episode, which is Part Two of our interview, we learn more about  what Three Strands does and how their community approach to supporting families in crisis offers struggling parents wraparound support to help them gain skills and cultivate relationships that significantly improve their chances of reunification.

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss a single episode!

For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended reading, youtube videos, and social media links all designed to help foster parents feel more equipped for their foster care journey. It’s my prayer that no foster parent ever feels like they’re going at it alone.

If  you enjoy this podcast and you’re interested in supporting my work at A Fostered Life, please go to afosteredlife.com and click on the tab “Support My Work.” That will take you to my Patreon page, where you can become a patron of the podcast and YouTube channel. Just one dollar a month helps offset the cost of producing these resources and enables me to offer them freely to new and prospective foster parents. I’m so grateful for the support of my patrons. I also give a few perks to my patrons, so please head over to Patreon and check it out.

If you’re a foster parent who is feeling like you’re out there on your own, consider joining The Flourishing Foster Parent, a community designed to encourage, equip and connect foster parents.

One more thing, if you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much. Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss Part Two or any other episode.

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

Like this podcast? Please rate us on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

 

Episode 11

 

Foster parents are not typically encouraged to be intimately involved with the parents of the children who come into our care. While we are encouraged to “support reunification efforts,” and it is suggested that we do things like send a journal back and forth to visits or share occasional pictures, usually there is a significant disconnect and even animosity between foster parents and their foster child’s mom and or dad.

 

My guest in today’s episode is Tonya Foulkrod, a foster mom who found herself unexpectedly involved with not only the child placed in her care, but that child’s mother as well. After cultivating a relationship and walking their new friend through the process of reunification, Tonya and her husband, Jay, knew that they could never go back to being traditional foster parents. Instead, they enlisted their church community and started an organization called Three Strands, a nine week, faith-based parenting program offered by local churches and volunteers to families in crisis.   Three Strands is for parents who have lost custody of their children, or who are at risk of losing custody, and are working toward family reunification and preservation.

 

Our conversation covered a lot of ground, so I am offering it to you in two parts. In this episode, which is Part One, we’ll cover Tonya’s early experience as a foster parent and hear how she and her husband became involved with the mother of the child who was placed in their care, leading them to start a ministry focused on offering a more holistic way to support families in crisis. In Part Two, we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of what Three Strands does and how their community approach to supporting families in crisis helps struggling parents gain skills and cultivate relationships that significantly improve their chances of reunification and set them up for long-term success.

 

I loved hearing about this couple’s journey and how they are making a difference in the lives of so many families. If you want to learn more about Three Strands, go to www.frcoalition.org and click on “Three Strands.” And now, Part One of my conversation with Tonya Foulkrod.

 

Be sure to subscribe to A Fostered Life podcast so you don’t miss Part Two or any other episode.

 

For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, recommended books and resources, youtube videos, and social media links so you can connect with others on the foster parenting journey.

I’d like to take a moment and give a patron shout out to Brianne, who’s been a patron of A Fostered Life since August. If enjoy this podast and you’re interested in supporting my work at A Fostered Life, please go to afosteredlife.com and click on the tab “Support My Work.” That will take you to my Patreon page, where you can become a patron. Just one dollar a month helps offset the cost of producing these resources and enables me to offer them freely to new and prospective foster parents, and I’m grateful for the support of my patrons. I also give a few perks to my patrons, so please head over to Patreon and check it out.

One more thing, if you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a moment to rate A Fostered Life on iTunes. It would help me out so much. Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

 

*Let's Socialize*

PATREON: http://www.patreon.com/afosteredlife

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/afosteredlife

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/afosteredlife

WEBSITE: http://www.afosteredlife.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/afosteredlife 

 

Like this podcast? Please rate us on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 10

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, one in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. The effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and can have a profound affect on the victim's mental health. Victims are four times more likely than non-victims to develop symptoms of drug abuse and/or experience PTSD as adults, and they’re three times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults.

Out of the 63,000 sexual abuse cases substantiated by Child Protective Services each year, 80% of perpetrators of sexual violence against children were parents. Many of those children are placed in foster care, and it is vital for foster parents to be equipped to support children who have been traumatized sexually.

My guest in today’s episode is Kevin, a man who knows all too well how being sexually abused as a child affects a person’s life. As he shares from his experience, Kevin offers invaluable insight and advice for those of us who may be called on to care for children who are victims of sexual violence. 

I’m so grateful for Kevin’s transparency, vulnerability, and willingness to share about this extremely hard topic, and I know you’ll gain as much from  this conversation as I did.

Kevin's Suggested Resources for Victims of Sexual Trauma and Abuse

Books*: 
 
Websites:
 
Podcasts:
Healing Warriors Male Abuse Survivors
 
Crisis Lines:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
24hr Crisis Line
206-461-3222, local
7-1-1, WA relay
866-4CRISIS national

For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, youtube videos, and social media links so you can connect with others on the foster parenting journey.

If you’re interested in supporting my work at A Fostered Life, please go my Patreon page, where you can become a patron. Just one dollar a month helps offset the cost of producing these resources and enables me to offer them freely to new and prospective foster parents, and I’m grateful for the support of my patrons.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

*Amazon Affiliate Links

Like this podcast? Please rate us on iTunes and become a $1+ patron on Patreon! Click here to learn more.

Episode 9 

 

One of the things many people say when they hear that I’m a foster parent is, “I couldn’t imagine getting attached to a child and then having to give them back.” While I can appreciate that people are just expressing their honest feelings, the truth is, that sentiment shows a total lack of understanding about the main point of foster care, which is precisely to love a child to the point of getting attached and then “giving them back” to their parents.

Reunification is the first goal of foster care. When a child is removed from their parents, usually the plan is to provide a safe and loving and nurturing home for them while their parents do the hard work of getting to a place where they can safely parent their children again. It’s messy. It’s an emotional roller coaster. And it’s not always possible. Just over half of children in foster care will be reunified. The rest will be raised by relatives, adopted by foster parents, or remain in foster care until they “age out.” 

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that foster parents can play a crucial role in supporting reunification, and in today’s podcast, I’m speaking with a fellow foster parent named Lauren who did just that. The focus of today’s episode is how foster parents can be intentional and proactive in supporting the mothers (and/or in some cases fathers) of the children in their care, championing their efforts to get their children back.

Let me be very clear, though, before we launch into this conversation: this is often the hardest part of foster parenting. The emotional toll is high, and the grief a foster family experiences after reunification is real. 

I’m grateful that Lauren shared from her experiences with me, and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Mentioned in this episode:

Suddenly Siblings: https://www.facebook.com/suddenlysiblings/

Family Meeting Video from A Fostered Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOgFoXo_3d0&t=35s

For more information and resources for foster parents, please visit afosteredlife.com, where you’ll find blog posts, youtube videos, and social media links so you can connect with others on the foster parenting journey.

If you’re interested in supporting my work at A Fostered Life, please go my Patreon page, where you can become a patron. Just one dollar a month helps offset the cost of producing these resources and enables me to offer them freely to new and prospective foster parents, and I’m grateful for the support of my patrons.

Thanks for listening and thanks for caring about foster care.

Older Episodes »