Returning to fostering after finishing her education andgetting married, Therese sought an agency with a good reputation for supporting its families. Therese had previously fostered children for a few years with her biological daughter, Julie. When Therese met her husband, Jeff, he agreed that fostering was an amazing opportunity. They were introduced to Children’s Bureau by a friend who had worked with the agency. After processing paperwork and a month of Saturday training sessions, the parents were ready for placement. Over time, their loving family was joined by over 20 children, all but one under the age of two.

For most of the children, Therese and Jeff served as monitors for family reunification visits where building relationships
with birth families was vital. Birth parents are encouraged to focus on their sessions with the foster parents as a time
to better prepare a long-term family plan. Furthermore, incorporating birth parents and families in children’s lives
allows for easier transitions and opportunities to be available for questions about routines, advice, or even the occasional
birthday party. “Children’s Bureau has always been available for answering questions and supporting us, even in the couple of tough times we had. The staff also supported our decisions and talked through with us the ones when we were not sure what the decision might be,” said Therese. One of the greatest challenges for Therese and Jeff was the
desire to want to keep all the children in their family. However, one of the greatest joys was knowing that they supported such wonderful children when they needed it most. Therese and Jeff have adopted a 3-year-old son, Jacob, who is the fourth child of his birth mother. They are grateful to maintain connection with Jacob’s siblings and his maternal grandparents. With 60,000 children in California’s foster care system, Children’s Bureau continues to need loving families like Therese, Jeff, and Julie to become resource parents.

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