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Wisconsin Foster Child Desperate for a Family

Arthur is a 12-year-old who loves school and tacos. He has been in Wisconsin foster care for nearly half his life. He is one of almost 40 children referred to us in the past month from county foster agencies across Wisconsin. We tried unsuccessfully to match Arthur with a CCR foster family that could meet his elevated needs. A lack of foster families for kids like Arthur is an ongoing problem with no end in sight. Telling a county, "We don't have a home," never gets easier. Here is Arthur's story.

Hundreds of Wisconsin foster kids need loving homes.

His story resembles the hundreds of kids we could not match with a loving family this year. He is a great kid who desperately wants to belong. He misses his mom and siblings. He is a boy trying to be "good" while not able to understand his circumstances fully.

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.

Boy with foster mom

Like many boys, he enjoys Legos, karate, playing outside, and 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 does well in school, completing work and assignments on time.

Wisconsin foster parents can provide a structured environment.

Arthur is capable of following simple directions most of the time. He does best when given one task at a time rather than multiple instructions or tasks. Healthy boundaries are an ongoing treatment piece for Arthur. He is currently working on asking for hugs instead of hugging someone without consent. A foster home with a structured environment with clear rules and boundaries is critical. Having a parent at home when Arthur is not in school would be best.

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 must be challenged to stay active to expel his energy and thrive in his new placement.

It would be essential for Arthur to remain involved in therapy on a consistent and regular basis.

Respite care offers Arthur a visit with his biological siblings.

fostering a teenager

Although Arthur's biological mother resides out of state, he has weekly telephone contact with her. 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 for 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 often offers respite care for Arthur so the children can spend time together.

A two-parent household with a parent available to Arthur when he is not in school is desired. Due to his energy levels and need to be busy and engaged, it would be best if Arthur were placed in a foster home with other children.

There have been no known instances of physical aggression with peers in the last six months. Arthur does not instigate peer conflict. However, he can be verbally aggressive in retaliation. Arthur will attempt to fit in with his peers, often resulting in negative consequences since the kids he responds to exhibit inappropriate behaviors.

It has been noted that before Arthur's current placement, 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.

Many foster children require an Individual Education Plan (IEP)

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 significant 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 has been no negative behavior in the current placement.

Foster kids thrive with positive reinforcement.

Arthur must 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 necessary for Arthur to establish a relationship with a potential family before placement. An overnight or weekend preplacement visit would be beneficial. A therapist should be established for Arthur before his new placement to ensure no disruptions in his treatment.

Community Care Resources receives approximately 40-45 referrals each month. We do our best to match each child and sibling group with a CCR foster family that can best meet their needs. The challenges of caring for a child with heightened behaviors require CCR foster parents to have flexible schedules. This allows for unplanned interruptions, meetings, appointments, and family visits.

We desperately need more foster homes to care for kids like Arthur. Feel free to call us anytime if you'd like to learn more. 800-799-0459

*Names of children in all CCR blogs are changed to protect privacy.

 

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