Who are the Children?
Children and youth enter foster care because of abuse, neglect or other family problems.
All have suffered trauma, grief and loss.
Children and youth in Mesa County's foster care system are all ages, babies through age 21.
Many are teens.
The children come from many different ethnic and cultural populations.
The child or youth may belong to a sibling group or be an only child.
Many have siblings or other relatives with whom they would like to maintain a connection.
They may have special medical, physical, developmental, psychological, and emotional needs, low self-esteem, poor hygiene or poor academic performance.
Not all of our children have special needs, but the majority does face emotional, behavioral, medical or developmental challenges, which may result from their experiences with abuse, neglect, loss and separation and might require treatment. Some children may withdraw, while others act out or lie. They may exhibit behavior such as truancy, running away and defiance. Some may also be involved in other court systems.
Going to live with a foster family means a lot of changes — not all of them bad ones. It can feel good for the child to be in a calm, new place. But there are challenges, too. It may be tough getting adjusted to foster parents and the rules they have at their house. There may be other children in the family to get to know.
Living with a foster family also may mean going to a new school. New classmates, new teachers, and new rules — so many things can be different all at once!
It's no wonder, then, that kids in foster care have to deal with a lot of emotions. They can feel happy and secure when they're in a loving foster family, but also sad and worried about their own moms or dads. They might feel afraid, wondering what will happen next, or angry about the whole situation.
All known information about the child is shared with the foster family prior to placement.
All foster children need to feel safe and loved.
Because of these challenges, foster parenting requires special people—people who can take children quickly and without hesitation into their homes knowing that, when the time comes, they will need to lovingly let them go.