Wisconsin foster care is overflowing with kids. Arthur is a 12-year-old boy who has been in foster care for nearly half his life. We tried without success to place Arthur in a loving foster home. A lack of foster families is an ongoing problem across Wisconsin and at Community Care Resources. Referrals are received daily for kids like Arthur, which breaks us when we don't have an available home. Here is Arthur's story.
Arthur is one of the nearly 35 kids we could not place last month. We have homes in 35 counties but didn't have the right home in the right location for Arthur. We continually need more Wisconsin residents. Anyone can apply to become a foster parent to help kids like Arthur. Arthur is a great kid! A boy wanting to be loved and cared for. A boy missing his mom and siblings. A boy trying to be "good" while doing his best to understand his circumstances.
On paper, Arthur looks like lots of other boys. He loves school, pizza, and tacos. He is helpful and sensitive to others. On most days, Arthur is in a good mood. He does well when things are organized and in order. Structure and clear expectations are beneficial in keeping Arthur focused.
Like many boys, he enjoys Legos, karate, building things, playing outside, and any science-related activities. Although he is nearly 13, he demonstrates the development and maturity of a 10-year-old. Arthur most often shows respect and an interest in others. He is serious about his academics and does well in school, completing work and assignments on time.
Arthur is capable of following simple directions most of the time. It is best to provide him with one task at a time rather than multiple instructions or tasks. Although Arthur is happy and positive most of the time, he tends to be very hyper. Healthy boundaries are an ongoing treatment piece for Arthur. He is currently working on asking for hugs instead of hugging someone without consent.
It would be essential for Arthur to remain involved in therapy on a consistent and regular basis. In addition, his foster home should provide a structured environment with clear rules and boundaries.
Misplacing and losing his eyeglasses is a continued problem that Arthur is trying hard to do better with. Arthur is prescribed several medications but is overall healthy and likes to get exercise. It is noted that Arthur is full of high energy in the morning. This appears to be related to his excitement to attend school, as he often wants to go immediately and struggles to wait. Arthur will need to be challenged in staying active to expel his energy and thrive in his new placement.
His biological mother resides out of state and has weekly telephone contact with Arthur. The frequency of the mother's contact has increased over the past two months. She has recently expressed a desire to visit Arthur in person. Parental rights have been terminated on all of Arthur's siblings. Two of the siblings have been adopted, and the adoptive family is open to continued contact with Arthur. He inquires about his siblings often. The adoptive mother has offered to provide respite care for Arthur so the children can spend time together.
A two-parent household with a parent available to Arthur at all times when he is not in school is desired. Otherwise, a retired at-home parent with a support system in place would do well. It would be best if Arthur were placed in a foster home with other children. Due to his energy levels and need to be busy and engaged, other children living in the home would be good.
There are no known instances of physical aggression with peers over the past two years in his current placement. Arthur does not instigate peer conflict. However, he can be verbally aggressive in retaliation. Arthur will make attempts to fit in with his peers and often resulting in negative consequences since the kids he responds to exhibit inappropriate behaviors. He would do well if he were able to develop positive relationships with peers.
It has been noted that before Arthur's current placement that many of his medications prescribed previously were likely not effective in helping to manage behaviors. Medication changes have taken place and seem to be effective.
Arthur enjoys school and especially likes math. He has an IEP for learning needs. The IEP also includes a learning disability in reading and written expression. There are no concerns at this time with current teachers and aides. Arthur has made great progress. Before his current placement, he had several verbal and physical altercations at school. He would threaten others, refuse to do his work, and on one occasion, he intentionally hit his head against a wall. Again, there have been no instances of negative behavior in the current placement.
Arthur needs to have outlets and opportunities for physical activity. He has a lot of energy and thrives when given a structured opportunity to expel his energy. Arthur craves affection and will assert himself to have this need fulfilled. Reminders are needed to respect other people's personal boundaries and personal space. Foster parents should clearly outline rules and expectations. He does best with positive reinforcement.
It will be important for Arthur to establish a relationship with a potential family before placement. An overnight or weekend replacement visit would be of benefit. A therapist should be established for Arthur before his new placement to ensure there are no disruptions in his treatment.
Community Care Resources receives approximately 40 referrals each month. We desperately need more foster homes with flexible day-to-day schedules to care for kids like Arthur. Call us anytime to learn more. 800-799-0459