In 2017 we had the blessing of adopting 4 children through OK DHS adoption and expanding our family to 9! It has been an unbelievable and wild journey growing and blending our family. Since then, as a family we have been passionate about helping other families who have gone or are going through the foster or adoption journey. As we looked for the most critical place to help these families, we learned that the number one struggle of these families is the ability to find safe and reliable respite care, whether through an in-home caregiver to provide some relief on a short or long-term basis or through an out of home group setting. This wasn't just a hearsay suggestion, there have been studies beyond studies that successful respite systems are critical to family healing.
Respite care provides critical support to these families as they go along the journey. It has been found that through successful respite care programs, foster and adoption success rates go up exponentially. It is also found that mental health improves when successful respite care is provided regularly to these families. After learning this, we knew that God positioned us perfectly as we have been providing in-home caregivers for the past 15 years through our business SeekingSitters. As a licensed private investigator and entrepreneur, I know what it takes to provide the safest and most reliable service for these families. As an adoptive mom, I personally know how critical this care is to these families. Funding & consistency of programs is the biggest problem with these programs.
Over the past year we have started building a solution. We have been working with families in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area who have been referred to us through Family and Children's Services. Family and Children's Services help heals hurting and abused children, strengthens families and provides hope and a path to recovery for those battling mental illness and addiction. We have been able to be a resource for these families by providing in-home care services and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only are the parents feeling a great sense of support but the children are thriving in the care of the caregivers. One mom came home to the caregiver and almost broke down in tears as her four typically rowdy boys were sitting on the floor playing calmly with the caregiver. She said, "You have no idea how much this meant to me and to us." This single mom who is working on reunification with her children has been able to use an in-home caregiver once a month but we know she would even thrive more with additional support.
COVID-19 Impact: In addition to the normal scope of these programs, it is reported that the mental health needs of these families will double after the impact of Covid 19 . Because of this we want to be prepared and ready to support these families when the crisis ends. We all need to wrap our arms around the any parts of our community who are less fortunate and might need supporting getting back on their feet. Currently the families are able to fund some of their needs through state vouchers. However, the vouchers only provide a very limited amount of support and it also takes quite a while for families to obtain the vouchers. Through supporting Child Respite Resource you can build a fund that will support more families, more often and much more quickly. Please find out more about the success at www.childrespiteresource.com and please support families in need by supporting our funding goal!
- Heather Richetto Rumley
- Diane White
- Kayce Nelson
- Karen Mitchell
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