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Episode 23

When people think about foster care, we usually imagine children removed from situations where they are being severely abused or neglected by their natural parents. We hear stories in the news about examples of horrific abuse or neglect, and we celebrate that these children have been rescued and placed in a loving and safe foster home. 

But this narrative, while certainly sometimes true, is an oversimplification of the circumstances that lead to children being removed from their parents. It might surprise you to know that about half of the children in foster care have an intellectual disability that can make caring for them difficult. If we’re willing to go upstream of the foster care system, we would likely find families that could actually remain intact with some outside help. In the foster care world, this is known as “family preservation.” An important questions we should be asking is, “How could this child have avoided being in foster care in the first place?” What can be done for a family in crisis before they become a family in crisis?

In today’s episode, I’m speaking with Whitney King, a Behavioral Specialist and CEO of LEAF Behavior Support, LLC, whose life and work is devoted to supporting nontraditional families impacted by intellectual, developmental, learning, and/or mental health challenges. In this conversation, we took a deep dive into the challenges of parenting children with special needs and how being part of someone’s village of support could make all the difference in helping keep families together. 

I really appreciated Whitney’s perspective, and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did! 

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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.

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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.

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