'Choices For Life' Program In Need Of Therapeutic Foster Parents

Tuesday, May 11th 2021, 4:23 pm
By: Kelsey Kernstine

May is foster care awareness month - and foster agencies around the city are in desperate need of homes for kids.

Many kids in the foster care system suffer from severe trauma either from their biological home or bouncing around from home to home.

That's where therapeutic foster parents come in - who are trained to help children with that trauma.

Amanda Martindale, a therapeutic foster parent said she was terrified to take in a child with such emotional needs - but now after taking in three different young girls - she wouldn't change it for the world.

"Being able to see the child that no one else gets to see. You get to see the sweet, loving child that really does exist, and they don't trust because they have no reason to trust, Martindale said. “If you stay with them and give that unconditional love - they break those walls down."

“Therapeutic foster parents help them achieve their goals, both for their mental health goals, behavior goals and so they can kind of get some stability,” Crystal Money, a recruiter and trainer for Choices For Life Foster Care said.

Martindale said she did worry about the chaos kids with emotional trauma would bring into her home - where she also has a 10-year-old daughter of her own.

"I did fear it would harm her. It has done the opposite…I get calls from her teachers all the time. She's the only kid that they can sit next to a bully and she understands and says that's because their very sad, Martindale said. “I know where that came from, that's from watching her sisters.”

Martindale said while she is teaching coping skills as a foster parent, her biological daughter is learning them, too.

"Stay when it gets tough and staying through that tough - because that tough does go away," Martindale said is the key to change.

She said her goal is to teach the child how to function in a family - whatever family or home the child may end up in.

Choices For Life said there are 50 kids on the waiting list at any given time, looking for a loving home.

To find out more information – you can visit the Choices For Life website here.