Eldon Baber, Executive Director – The Raise Foundation
I once heard children described as a personal development opportunity for parents. As the parent of four adult “children” I wholeheartedly agree. The truth be told, I think that parenting changes you. I really think that once you take on the role of parent you’re never quite the same. I don’t think I am. Raising a child is full of surprises, sometimes on a daily basis. No matter how many parenting books, blogs or magazine articles you read, nothing really prepares you for becoming a parent.
Parenting can be wonderful, but it can also be difficult. Most parents experience times of feeling overwhelmed. There’s a lot of information out there about what we “should” do to raise “good” kids. While there aren’t any guaranteed methods for ensuring our children will be happy, healthy, and successful in life, there is plenty of research that shows parents can make a significant, positive difference through a number of simple approaches.
The work of The Raise Foundation is built on The Five Protective Factors which are the basis of the Strengthening Families Approach: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children. Research shows that these protective factors help build family strengths and a family environment that promotes positive child and youth development. More than that, when these Protective Factors are well established in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminishes.
However, the reality of abuse and neglect still exists – regardless of the neighborhood you live in. Our greatest passion (and we hope yours is as well) is to prevent child abuse and neglect. But, despite the work done in this area, abuse and neglect are still prevalent in our society. Foster parenting is a mighty way to be a part of a community that works tirelessly to provide children and youth with a greater future. There are hundreds of children each year in Orange County that need the support, safety and nurturing Foster Parents can provide in a time of need.
As you will see, this issue of the “Blue Ribbon” is focused on the growing and tremendous need for more foster parents in our community. Please join us in sharing this need with others and if you or someone you may know has an interest in learning more about being a foster parent we encourage you to view the recent Orange County Register insert here.