Jennifer and Steffanie have been foster parents with Clermont County since 2016. They have previously provided foster care and adopted in other states and counties as well. Let’s see what has been working for them so far with four questions.
Tell us a little bit about your family? Our family includes Mommie Jennifer, Momma Steffani, Jayden, 11, Xavier, 7, KayLynn, 6, Carter, 1, and Chewbacca (dog), Princess Leila (dog) and Watson (cat). We enjoy being on the go. Our kids enjoy playing sports, like baseball, football, soccer and cheerleading. We like to hang out with our extended family going camping, playing games, Kings Island or the park.
You have been licensed with another county and another state and have adopted through those other agencies. You then became licensed through Clermont County, fostered and are about to adopt the child currently placed in your home. Can you offer any words of wisdom to people starting the journey to become licensed foster-to-adopt? The process of foster-to-adopt can be frustrating and challenging. The key is to always remember the reason why you wanted to become a foster parent — to help children. We have fostered 16, with three adopted and the fourth about to be adopted, over an 11-year span. Each child who came into our home we feel had a purpose and were meant to be within our lives. Our hope is that each child that comes into our home will feel safe, loved and cherished. Don’t be afraid of opening your home and your hearts — the rewards are priceless.
What advice do you have for families who decide to foster who already have children of their own? It is important to remain honest with the workers regarding potential foster children that would be best suited for your home, in addition to being honest with your own children. Kids are resilient and surprisingly able to understand the process at a young age. We have tried to be open and honest with all the children that have come into our home.
What are your thoughts on keeping sibling groups together? We think siblings should be kept together! When kids are removed from their homes, it is a traumatic event. Hopefully remaining with their siblings can assist with the transition providing fewer traumas by separating them. It may not always be an ideal situation but it is always what is best for the children.