Everyone, I have just received the following post that I feel is far
too important to allow just to be sent privately when any potential
foster parent may glean the wealth of beauty from within. There are
powerful words here that deserve to be read.

I wrote to the sender, Pat <froggie@mscomm.com>:
<<This is a beautiful and sensitively written letter, Pat. I am
passing it directly to the list because it contains precious and
valuable information for all. Thank you so much.>>

Here is the post:
We have been fostering since 1985 in California. I am also President
of our Foster Parent Association, and have been for thirteen years.
Be very careful since you have a small child. The ones that have
responded to you about children sexually acting out is true. It would
be heartbreaking if your own young son was the victim, so please be
careful. Also protect your husband, these children don't always tell
the truth. Foster parents, on the average, go through an
investigation once every three years. In the system, you must
prove your innocence since you will be presumed guilty until you DO
prove yourself innocent. You will live in a 'glass' house, please
double check with your State licensing agency. You may also have the
birth family in your home, or to supervise a visit with the birth
family. If you are planning on only being certified, remember that
you will not have a 'chain of command' to appeal the decision. On the
money issue, we have always felt that it's a good thing that Larry
makes good money, since we always spend more than we ever get! As
children leave your home, get ready to cry--but not when they can
see. As you watch them grow, or come back to see you, that involves a
different kind of crying. With concurrent planning, you will be
involved with the plan for the child. All homes in California are now
viewed as adoptive homes, in case a child can not return to the birth
family. That is another thing to think about. Also your child will
become attached to some of the children placed in your home. We
started fostering for one specific child. We ended up fostering a
total of five at a time, with our daughter still home. I will be more
than happy to answer any and all questions you have. Also check your
Health and Welfare Code on the criteria that your state operates