For the Sake of One provides support to parents, children, and families before, during, and after foster care in the Texarkana area. As a former foster parent, Angela knows exactly what foster families are going through and what kind of support they need to succeed. For the Sake of One works to bring awareness to the foster care crisis, help those who are involved, and create a supportive community in the process. Learn more here!
What inspired you to start For the Sake of One?
I used to be a teacher and worked in an orphanage in Honduras for a year, and I knew I wanted to do something in social work when I returned. After I got married, I suggested to my husband that we should become foster parents. We ended up fostering for 7 years and took in 12 children. The very first foster child we took in was a two day old baby, and he is now my 11 year old son. For the Sake of One was born out of our experiences as foster parents— there wasn’t a lot of support for foster families in our area. We started as a church ministry, and I eventually quit teaching to turn it into a nonprofit and work on it full-time. Now, we cover 4 counties in the northeast Texas and southwest Arkansas area.
Can you tell me about the support you provide to foster families?
We support families before, during, and after foster care. Our vision is to have a community where every child has a stable home, and every family has the tools to thrive. Our goal is to keep biological families together. We have two case workers who go into homes of struggling parents to provide support like how to find a job, how to breastfeed, and how to find housing. For current foster and adoptive families, we have monthly support groups, mom and dad retreats, trauma training, supervised visitation with biological parents, and a Blessing Boutique for families to pick up a variety of donated items.
What are some challenges foster families face?
There are 200-300 kids in foster care in our area at any given time, but only about 20 foster homes. Oftentimes, kids have to be sent far away and are taken from everything that they know. In total, there are about 9,000 foster children in Texas and 4,000 in Arkansas. It’s a way bigger issue than people think. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the foster care system. There’s no way to know how long a kid will be in a home— we had foster kids for as little as two weeks and as long as two years. It’s also a lengthy process to get approved, and it can be a lot to balance. For kids to end up in foster care, they have no family who can take care of them which means there’s a lot of generational trauma involved.
Are there any misconceptions about foster care that you can dispel?
When I first became a foster parent, I was scared of the biological parents because in my mind they were horrible people who had mistreated their children. As I’ve worked in the system, I’ve learned that most parents are doing the best they can but have no support available to them. There’s also a big misconception about when trauma can start. Some people think that adopting a baby at birth means they have no trauma. There’s a lot of brain development that happens during pregnancy, and taking a baby away from the mother immediately after birth is traumatic. Many people also don’t know that it’s free to adopt from foster care. There are hundreds of thousands of kids in the system waiting to be adopted.