By Katarina Sayally, The Chronicle of Social Change, October 25, 2019
If you haven’t heard enough stories about what breaking the intergenerational cycle of foster care looks like, I want to share one. This is our story, and it’s a good one.
When I found out I was pregnant, the only fear I had was, “What if my baby ends up in foster care?” As a former foster youth who works in the field, I am constantly reminded of this possibility. One study found that mothers in foster care were twice as likely to have their children removed. In my master of social work program, I learned that the structured decision-making tool (that can determine whether a child welfare case is opened) assigns a point for risk if parents have been in foster care themselves.
I felt up against all of this and I wasn’t so sure I could overcome. But when my baby was born, the first thought that crossed my mind was “I love you.” Statistics cannot estimate the power of my love. They cannot limit the potential of my brilliant baby. They cannot write our ending before we have even begun. These are some of the values and practices I incorporate into my parenting to ensure that this baby gets to have the love-filled life all babies deserve.