I was happy to see this article about my friend, Gaile Osborne, and her work for a foster parents' Bill of Rights in North Carolina.  Relatively few states give foster parents any status in the system.  Most jurisdictions treat foster parents as simply a resource of the child protection authorities.  The law presumes that the caseworker will listen to our information, but we are often at odds with the agency and caseworkers usually are so busy that they do not have time to gather all the facts about our child.  The fact is that we foster parents know these children better than anyone else except perhaps their biological parents.   We are the experts in how all of the pieces of our kids’ lives fit together.  We have lived with the night terrors or screaming fits triggered by what we thought were innocuous events.  We generally have suffered along with our child as they struggled to complete homework or deal with yet another missed parent visit.  We are far from perfect, but we do have information that the system needs to know.  

It is good to see North Carolina recognizing our value in making decisions about our children.  Let's hope other states join the trend sooner rather than later.


Debbie Ausburn

Helping foster parents and stepparents learn how to be the person who is not supposed to be there.