Foster Parent Feature: Barb Turner
When children and youth need extra guidance and care, we turn to therapeutic foster homes that work with a team of folks to provide assistance, guidance, services, and as Barb Turner says so eloquently, “hope.” Check out what Barb says about why she chooses to be a therapeutic foster parent in Alaska.
“I have been a licensed therapeutic foster parent for 5 years and have fostered 15 children during this time. I became a foster parent because it is in my makeup to help. I worked for a well-known company for many years moving oil, but my deepest desire was to impact lives directly, hands on. So while working, to satisfy that desire, I became a foster parent. Now, today, I foster full time, advocating for my children to make sure that their needs are met with heavens best! There are many days and night that are hard, but it causes me to dig, study, and ask questions of our team to find what might work. And yes, there have been nights I've cried! I've cried for their past, their future, what they've said that melted my heart, the growth I see, and I keep pushing forward because I'm on purpose making an impact.
“As foster parents, we can offer love, support, structure, safety, advocacy, and be a positive role model. And we can offer hope! Hope deferred makes the heart sick but we can be a piece of that healing.
“What do I get back as a foster family? I'm paying it forward! I was never in the foster care system, but boy did I have a lot of great adults in my life, encouraging and promoting my development. I'm blessed! I'm blessed to be a blessing and if I can impact one child, I'm the better for it. What surprised me about foster care? I guess that I never saw the day that I'd volunteer to be a single parent to four SED children and demand that they give themselves their best! We're in it to win it! Not by chance, but by choice!”
Not by chance, by choice. Thank you, foster and adoptive parents, throughout Alaska for helping children and youth have a choice in the direction of their lives. And thank you, Barb, for being a blessing to the children in your home!