November is Adoption Awareness Month and the director of Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services is highlighting the importance of families who choose to love children in need.
Director, David Haverfield, explained to Newsymom.com what role his agency plays in the adoption process.
“All of the adoptions we do are adoptions of children who end up in our permanent custody. A child comes into our temporary custody because there are issues of abuse or neglect or any other host of things,” said Haverfield. “We, of course, look for other kinship or relative placements but when those aren’t available kids come into our custody.”
By law, Job and Family Services only has a set amount of time to work with families to try and resolve those issues. “There are times kids just aren’t able to go back home,” added Haverfield.
Haverfield went on to highlight the heightened need for good foster and adoptive families for children who essentially, come with baggage.
“No child who comes to our system comes without issues and it’s much like having a biological child, you never know what you’re going to get,” said Haverfield. “It’s relatively easy to find someone who is interested in adopting a young, healthy child, but when you’re talking about a child who might be 14 or 15 that has had some behavioral problems that can be a challenge.”
Despite the issues those children may have Haverfield said: “Those are still some really incredible kids that deserve and can flourish in a family and so we work hard to make that happen.”
Haverfield went on to share the inspiration he gets every single day in working with the kids in the agency’s care.
“There’s nothing better than seeing a kid that came in scared, upset and sad with that permanent family happy, doing well, flourishing in school, having friends. Those are really the things that make this job worth doing every day.”
He added that foster parenting is likely one of the hardest, most challenging jobs to ask anyone to do.
“Sometimes we call you at 3:00 in the morning and say we have a child that needs a place to go are you willing to take them. Sometimes we know a lot about that child, sometimes we don’t,” explained Haverfield. “Sometimes that child is going to stay in your house forever, often times a child is not really going to stay there very long at all.”
“So, we really ask people to walk in there with blind faith and do the right thing. I firmly believe that every foster parent that touches the life of a child makes a difference and really impacts them in a positive way, but it’s a real challenge. It takes someone really special because you have to be able to love a child, but be one to let them go in a lot of circumstances.”
And, to those considering adoption or becoming a foster care parent, Haverfield suggested thorough exploration and research.
“It’s certainly not right for everybody. And those who just want to adopt, we don’t encourage them to become foster parents because there are private adoption agencies that will help you find a child that you’re fairly certain will stay in your home forever.”
He encouraged those interested or those with questions or concerns about the adoption or foster care process to reach out to the agency.
“We certainly have some very challenging kids, but they’re amazing. We have some incredible kids that just do things every day that just absolutely inspire me, there’s no question about it.”
Michaela Madison Reporting
(Photo- Shellyn Leeper Photography)