Even though raising a foster child can be challenging at times, parents in Ranch Ehrlo’s Treatment Foster Care (TFC) program do everything they can to provide love and support.
The goal is to always try and reunify children with their families whenever possible, and we have a success story that showcases just that.
Thanks to help from the Janzen family, Michael* will now be cared for by his grandmother.
Michael had come into the program with high needs, explained his foster parent, Janelle.
“At times it was really challenging,” she said. “When he came in, we knew we needed the support of the program and to build that community around him, which didn’t exist before.”
The family was patient and consistent with Michael. They had to build a lot of relationships and reinforce boundaries constantly.
They also had help from Ranch Ehrlo staff. Foster parents in the TFC program have access to the Ranch’s therapeutic services, 24/7 on-call support, respite, and in-home supports.
“For me, I had to not let my pride be part of it and realize I can’t do it all myself,” Janelle said. “The Ranch staff were awesome. I always felt supported and I could call them, vent my frustrations, or ask for help.”
Like everyone who works at the Ranch, foster parents embody the CARE principles (family involved, developmentally focused, relationship based, trauma informed, ecologically oriented, and competence centred).
In Michael’s case, being relationship based was very important.
“Building those relationships with us and the community was a big part of it, and letting him find his place in the family,” Janelle said.
Everyone is proud Michael will now be living with his grandmother.
“I feel proud, not just for myself, but for the whole family because it was hard on our kids too,” Janelle said. “They did really well to love him and work things through. I feel really honoured that we got to see it through because there were days where it felt it was too much. We’ve got him to a place where I think he has a chance.”
Janelle will keep in touch with Michael’s grandmother in case she needs help or has questions.
“I care about her and I want to cheer her on,” Janelle said. “It’s nice to know I can ask her for a picture or offer to look after him if need be.”
She added, “I’m happy it’s family, that’s the best and it’s the ultimate goal. I’m happy we know her and have built a relationship with her.”
*Name changed for privacy