Featured Foster Family: Samantha

Meet Family Works Foster Parent Samantha

Samantha lives in the Wonewoc area and has been doing foster care with Family Works for the last 2 years. Prior to becoming a licensed foster parent, Samantha provided respite care for a few months for other foster parents with Family Works. Respite is when a child that is placed with another family comes to stay with you for a short period of time, anywhere from a few hours to a few days to a few weeks. Respite providers give much needed breaks to foster parents and foster children. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for foster care and support other foster parents in the process.

Getting Started

Samantha has had an interest in doing foster care ever since she was a child. “It is always something that I have wanted to do”. Her grandparents were foster parents and hearing the stories of their experiences with foster care is what initially intrigued her interest. Samantha’s parents also provided kinship care for her cousins when she was young. Samantha states that it is because of these experiences that she pursued foster care and her passion for helping others.

With these childhood experiences, it is not a surprise that Samantha found herself drawn to the helping profession. In addition to being a foster parent, Samantha also has a background as a CNA and has a bachelor’s degree in social work. Samantha has worked in several areas of social work, including CPS, but currently works at a correctional institution as a social worker.

Family Lifestyle

Samantha currently has placement of a 9y/o girl and is going through the process of adopting her. The two of them live together in a quiet residential neighborhood. They enjoy spending time outdoors, riding bikes, going to the park, swimming, camping, and working out. They also enjoy doing arts and crafts, reading, baking, and having movie and popcorn nights at home. They are a very active family and love getting involved in fun activities and events when they can.

What Keeps Her Going

Samantha enjoys doing foster care because she loves to see the growth a child can make over time when living in a safe and stable home environment. Samantha shares that she enjoys watching their personalities and strengths grow and watching the growth in their relationship and attachment with others. Samantha recognizes that some days are hard, but states that she really enjoys being a foster parent.

Words of Advice from Samantha

  • Be open minded when reading over referrals. Kids are not just what is on the referral.
  • Just because you get sent a referral, does not mean you need to say yes. It is okay to recognize your boundaries.
  • If you are hesitant about becoming a foster parent, start out with respite. It is a good way to get an idea for what to expect before committing to taking placement of a child.
  • You can do pre-placement visits prior to committing to taking placement to ensure that the child is a good fit for your home. A pre-placement visit is where the child comes to stay for a day or weekend prior to agreeing to placement.

 Why Family Works?

Samantha contemplated becoming a foster parent for years before actually applying. When finally making the decision to become a foster parent, Samantha attempted to get licensed through another agency but felt that she was not heard or supported. Samantha shares that when she called Family Works, she got so much reassurance from the worker she spoke to. The worker was able to explain the process to Samantha and answer any questions that she had. Samantha shared that she has had “nothing but a great experience” working with Family Works.

Family Works Social Worker says:

“Samantha is an incredible foster parent. She is kind, caring, and compassionate. She is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children placed in her home. She is such a strong advocate. Samantha also does all she can to ensure birth family connections are maintained. Samantha has driven several hours on many occasions to ensure the child currently placed in her home has visits with her brother and grandma as often as possible.”