WHAT’S A FOSTER FAMILY AGENCY?
A foster family agency (FFA) is a private corporation that trains and develops foster families to care for kids that have been removed from their own families for reasons of abuse and/or neglect. These families receive a rate (based on the child’s age) and full access to medical services. In addition, each agency provides services to assist and support those families and children. FFA homes differ from county foster homes in that FFA’s care for children with different treatment needs. Consequently, they receive a higher rate per child and increased support services (varying from agency to agency).
WHAT’S OUR PHILOSOPHY?
The philosophy of Advantage FFA is based on the belief that all kids of all ages are most likely to heal and thrive in a joy-filled environment. We define a joy-filled home as one that fulfills two basic needs: HEALTHY ATTACHMENT and PURPOSE. Everyone needs to feel loved and valued, however, children (by design) cannot see themselves as lovable or valuable except mirrored through your eyes, countless times throughout the day. Children from age 0 – 100 also need adventure! They have a need to explore their relationship to the world around them. But they also need a guide; someone who can show them the way.
WHAT’S OUR OBJECTIVE?
To get to know a child: To understand how and to what degree a child’s experiences have prevented him from getting his basic needs met.
To show him life from a different angle: Children often enter a healthy home with thoughts and behaviors that may have once helped them cope with and adapt to a dysfunctional one. Some of these thinking patterns and behaviors will develop into strengths. Others are maladaptive in healthy relationships and without change will sabotage that child’s ability to later form meaningful relationships or develop purposeful goals.
To preserve what’s good: To help preserve and repair existing vital relationships in that child’s life, whenever possible, knowing that those primary relationships are often a child’s most valued possession.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES ADVANTAGE FROM OTHER FFA’S?
In some ways we’re just finding that out ourselves. Spring, 2003 is our birthday but we’re not exactly the new guys on the block. Our staff has been working together for the last 9 years as the regional office of another foster family agency. Our reputation has been strong because our service is really good. We won’t take shortcuts and we won’t pass the buck when service is concerned. We like our foster parents and our kids too much to do that.
As Advantage, that will stay the same. We’ll keep overhead cost low and maintain a budget that reflects our commitment to serving our kids.
As we grow, our financial resources will be used to more aggressively access valuable community resources that will help provide adventures and develop purpose. Every kid needs adventures but not without the guidance of someone they can trust and grow to love. Our standard for recruiting foster parents will remain high, as will be yours in the selection of a Foster Family Agency.