Ella, who lives with a Monroe Harding foster family, came into care almost a year ago. When she arrived, this 12-year-old middle school student was skipping school, failing classes, and struggling to overcome the loss of her mother. Fast forward one year, and with the help of therapy and a strong foster family community, she is thriving. She is in the honor society at her school, plays multiple sports, and is re-establishing a healthy relationship with her father.
Monroe Harding foster parents provide a temporary home to children who cannot live with their birth families for a variety of reasons. Foster parents commit to nurture, teach, and strengthen children and youth, and make a lasting impact on the children in their care. Kids like Ella have a chance to deal with the trauma they have experienced and build the framework for a strong and healthy future. Foster parents do what a birth family would do if they were able, and Monroe Harding foster parents enjoy offering children the opportunities they might not otherwise have. Movies, vacations, shopping, being a part of a sports team, and church involvement are just a few of the things our parents provide to kids.
While many of the children in our care return to their birth families, Monroe Harding is also a foster-to-adopt agency as well, and our foster families come from all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities from all over Middle Tennessee. The greatest need is for families who are able to take in sibling groups of three or more and families who are able to take in teenagers. Unfortunately, the need for loving homes for children in Tennessee is great.
Foster parents must be at least 25 years of age, have adequate income and housing, and pass all background checks. If you have ever thought about becoming a foster parent, we invite you to attend one of our monthly PATH classes where you can learn more about the requirements and ask questions. Deciding to become a foster parent is a huge decision—but one that will absolutely change the life of a young person.
Here’s what some Monroe Harding foster parents are saying:
“Foster care is the only American institution where it is still normal for a kid with a trash bag to show up on your doorstep and you become her everything—at least for a while. Being a good foster parent does not require ideological alignment with everything that led to the removal of a child from a family. It does mean being the face of that child’s local and lived experience of foster care.”
“Her favorite visitor is her case worker. Monroe Harding staff has never left us feeling unsupported.”
“A child’s foray in foster care may be temporary, but duration doesn’t determine the worthiness of my wildest efforts. Just because something is temporary doesn’t make it less worthwhile.”
If you have ever considered becoming a foster parent, we encourage you to learn more, ask questions, and see what the path to becoming a foster parent looks like. You have the opportunity to change a life by becoming a foster parent. Help kids like Ella move forward from childhood trauma to build a happy life and future. Contact Allison Walther, Recruitment Coordinator at Monroe Harding, at 615-298-5573 to learn more, or reach out to us on the web at www.monroeharding.org.