How the Foster Care System Could Be a Great Avenue for Us 

Imagine being a child suffering from mental illness. As kids, we already have to go through so many tumultuous times and experience confusing things. With puberty, development, and education, it’s hard to be a kid. For a child suffering from mental illness, these things can quickly become overwhelming. Now, put that kid in the foster care system of this country and it becomes even more complicated. 

While there are millions of wonderful foster parents, there is still an underlying issue that the children have to cope with: not being with their biological parents. The reasons for them to be in the foster system could be a significant source of trauma as well. If their biological parents were abusive, neglectful, or suffered from their own conditions, that can cause trauma, which can manifest as mental illness. It has been reported that up to 80% of children in the foster care system suffer from some mental illness. That is an incredible amount of kids in that system who are struggling. That’s a lot of kids who have to deal with mental illness without fully understanding what they’re experiencing. They don’t feel like they have a permanent home or a family, they feel angry, and, most of all, they feel scared. You could be a force in their life that takes that fear away. 


Turning Your Experiences Into Lessons on Parenting

There are amazing foster parents out there, but some of them probably don’t know what these children are experiencing. Maybe you do. Not everyone is equipped to take on a child in the foster care system, but it could be something that you excel at. You have been through mental illness, you have fought your way to recovery, and you have come out the other side. We all want to use these experiences as a positive thing in our lives, right? We could take the tools we were given in addiction recovery and help these children that need us. It is a big commitment and responsibility to take on a foster child, but it can also breed fantastic love and connection. You could be the best influence they have ever had in their life. These children are looking for someone to support them and stick up for them when then can’t stick up for themselves. We know that they could develop significant problems from their conditions. Still, you have also been in that situation and will know what to do. You know the patience and love that is needed in those moments, and you can support them as no one else can. You can encourage them to seek professional help and support them as they go through their own recovery. At first glance, the whole thing looks and sounds scary, but it can be positive for both them and you. 


You might feel like your own experiences have been for nothing, but this isn’t true. You can take your pain and turn it into a good thing in this world. It will help you gain a different perspective on yourself and your own trials and tribulations. Let it be a growing experience for you as well, and let the relationship with the child be something extraordinary. We know that there is something special about having your own biological child. Still, there is nothing quite as unique as a good, healthy foster parent and child relationship. They can still be your child, and you can still be their parent. 


Expand Your Ideas About Family

If you have been considering the possibility of having a child, this could be another avenue to pursue. It also doesn’t mean you have to give up on having your own child. For those of us who already have children, this could be an excellent way for them to experience having a sibling. Of course, it is a decision that needs a lot of deliberation and discussion, but it’s something to consider. It is an option, and one that can not only change a child’s life and future, but your own life and who you are. It can help you keep learning and keep conquering this weird thing called life. 


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]