What a dog taught me about foster care

J.C., the sweet angelic boy I wrote about last time, lived with us along with his sister for 16 months until they were reunified with their parents. During the time we fostered them, J.C. refused to go on the “big boy potty.” Try as we might, nothing worked. Bribes, sinking cereal, promises of great presents and the potty dance all left him amused, and us …Continue reading →

How foster care chose me

I’ve been asked many times why I chose to foster. My answer is simple. I didn’t. It chose me.

Sitting at a meeting one hot August night, I found myself accosted by a 2-year-old boy with an angelic face who promptly jumped into my lap, buried his sweaty little head in my chest and sat there for the entire two-hour meeting. When the meeting ended, I looked at his presumed parents and playfully asked …Continue reading this post

Let’s celebrate National Adoption Day!

This morning, Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin celebrated National Adoption Day at the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center in Milwaukee. Families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges, child welfare agencies and volunteers came together to finalize adoptions and find safe, permanent, loving homes for nineteen children who were in foster care. …Continue reading this post

Travel to birth country can benefit adopted children

At the International Adoption Clinic, I often discuss racial and ethnic identity development with families (and children themselves). More and more, adoptive parents are exploring numerous ways to support positive racial/ethnic identities for their children. One way to do this is to visit the child’s birth country. Studies show that children who are adopted internationally into U.S. families benefit from traveling to their birth country. Thankfully, there is a group in Wisconsin dedicated to helping families do this …Continue reading this post

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Have you driven past State Fair Park or Miller Park and noticed the billboard that says “Ordinary people needed to do extraordinary things?” Have you glanced at foster care fliers, table tents and posters in your local coffee shop, barber shop, school, college, place of worship and restaurant? Have you read the plea for more foster parents on a tray liner at McDonald’s, in Applebee’s when receiving your bill or at your place of business by participating in foster parent lunch and learn? If so, you have seen just some of Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin’s recruitment efforts. …Continue reading this post

More than a home

Kobi Maley

Kobi Maley

Sometimes you do things for yourself.

Sometimes you do thing for others.

And sometimes, when the stars align just right, you do something for yourself that winds up helping others in a way you’d never imagine.

That’s just what happened to me and my husband, Mark, in the summer of 2007. After talking off and on for years about becoming foster parents, we finally decided to attend an orientation meeting held by Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin.

Our initial interest in foster care came from our strong love of children. Our daughter was in her 20s and had left home years ago. We were empty-nesters and believed that bringing a young one into our home would brighten up our lives.

It did that – and so much more.

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Dogs have jobs, too

Hi, my name is Buddy and I am Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin’s new therapy dog. You probably know that Children’s Service Society supports kids who might be having a tough time dealing with situations in their life. I’m so excited because I am going to meet some wonderful new friends at Children’s Service Society in Racine, Wis.

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It takes a village

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate — National Adoption Day. It’s a day across the country when many children will be officially adopted into forever families. Here in Milwaukee, we will be finalizing a number of adoptions for children. If you’ve had the chance to take part in an adoption finalization, I can tell you it’s very personal and incredibly special. Not unlike the birth of a child or a wedding, it is a moment that changes the lives of children and their new families — forever.

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Help our foster kids head back to school with confidence

“Drive through” school supply drive this Friday at Children’s Services Society of Wisconsin

On any given day in Milwaukee, 2,500 children are living in foster care while their families take time to heal. A foster parent provides a temporary family and home for a child until he or she can be reunited safely with his or her biological family or placed in a permanent living situation.

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Foster a child and change a life

Since 1988 our country has come together to appreciate and recognize the strength and courage of foster families by declaring May National Foster Care Month. Right now, foster families are caring for nearly 500,000 American children who are in foster care because their own families are in difficult situations and are unable to provide for them.

I work directly with treatment foster families in the Milwaukee area through Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, and I know that foster children have an extraordinary capacity to overcome many challenges, but only if they have the support of a caring adult in their lives. Loving foster parents add the stability and structure children need to grow to become successful adults.

…Continue reading →