Does the blustery winter weather have you thinking ahead to a sun- and fun-filled summer? Looking for ways to help kids who need families? Considering adoption but not sure you’re ready to parent full-time?
A summer hosting program may be just the answer for you!
Each summer, Children’s Home works with families who open their hearts and homes to Colombian youth growing up in foster care or orphanages. Because of their ages (generally 10-14) or needs, these kids have little chance of being adopted in Colombia. Youth who participate in the Kidsave Summer Hosting Program come to the U.S. for an enriching experience where they can share in family life, learn about American culture, and build lasting connections with families they met during their stay. When the program ends, some families decide to adopt the children they hosted.
Here are five reasons you should consider hosting a child this summer:
1. You want to provide kids a meaningful family experience.
During the 4-5 week stay, kids get to experience family life, engaging in fun summertime activities outside their normal foster care or orphanage experience. Kids can attend a day camp, take family trips to the lake and eat s’mores around the campfire, visit zoos, museums or cultural events, attend local soccer or sporting events, ride the roller coaster at the local amusement park, delight in trying new American foods, or just laugh their way through a game of cards or a board game with their host family.
2. You get to know a specific waiting child or sibling group.
The hosting experience allows you to get to know a child on a deeper level before you or another family take the formal steps for adoption. While adoptive families typically learn about kids only from the child profile shared at time of referral, children and host families get to know one another in a relaxed and nurturing home environment where their unique personalities and individual needs can be experienced firsthand. This helps you to determine your ability to support the child’s growth and developmental needs, which encourages more positive outcomes.
3. You want to shine a light on kids who need families.
In addition to the activities each host family plans, local volunteers organize weekend activities designed to bring all the children together and present opportunities for the community and prospective adoptive families to meet and interact with the kids. As a host family, you will be equipped with the knowledge to paint a fuller picture of the child and provide valuable insight and understanding to prospective adoptive families interested in learning more about them.
4. You’re not sure if full-time parenting is right for you.
Families who may not be quite ready to take the first steps to adopt find that hosting lets them experience the joys—and realities—of life with older kids. They often tell us that spending that time with the kids helped them gain the confidence they needed to move forward and/or gave them a better idea of how they can best prepare for and support that child’s specific needs.
5. You want kids to spend as little time in institutionalized care as possible.
If you plan to adopt, some of your hosting assessment processes (such as background clearances and training) can be applied to your adoption process. In fact, many families begin the steps to complete a home study right after their hosting assessment is finished (and before the kids arrive for the summer), which puts them in the best position to move forward with adoption. This is good for kids, because it helps them join with their adoptive families as soon as possible once the hosting program ends and they return to Colombia.
To learn more about hosting a child through the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program, give us a call. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are here to answer all of your adoption questions.
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