Today we're excited to spend a few minutes with Julie, one of our post-adoption support specialists. Julie has a wide range of experiences not only as a support specialist, but as a foster and adoptive mother herself! She helps provide support and resources to meet the unique needs of adoptive families.
Hi Julie! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I live in Radcliffe, north of Ames. My husband and I have four children, three of which were adopted from foster care. Our kids are involved in many activities that keep us busy. We took the first PS-MAPP class in Iowa and were licensed foster parents for six years.
You have lots of experience to share with your adoptive parents. What do you enjoy about supporting families?
I enjoy connecting families to resources.
What's one resource you wish all adoptive families knew about?
Each family has different needs so that is difficult to answer. I wish all families who adopted from foster care in past years knew about post adoption services.
What's a commonly asked question you receive from families and how do you respond?
When children have their parental rights terminated or are having a termination of parental rights (TPR) hearing soon, many foster families have questions about the adoption process, adoption subsidy and Title 19. I explain the timeline from the TPR hearing to adoption. I also explain the criteria for adoption subsidy, future needs and Title 19, and the documentation needed.
As we approach the start of the school year, do you have any tips for helping parents transition children back into a school routine?
Start getting into a routine a few weeks before school begins. Start using "school" bedtimes and getting up in the morning at the time they will need to get up for school. Have them go through their normal routine that they will have each morning before heading off to school. Make sure kids are getting plenty of sleep. It seems the first couple of weeks of school tire them out!
Do you have a favorite moment from your work or personal experience in the foster care and adoption field?
Adoption Saturdays every November in Webster City! There is a lot of excitement and emotion on that day.