“HOTELING” THE NEW TERM IN THE CRISIS IN FOSTER CARE
by Angela Richardson, Foster Home Developer, Community Health and Counseling Services
For several years now the lack of foster families has forced DHHS workers to find new alternatives when children come into care and there are no foster families to place them with. Out of pure desperation, DHHS workers have been forced to get a hotel room for children and have DHHS staff stay with the children in hotels. The new term in foster care has become known as “hoteling”. The term “hoteling” or spelled “hotelling” with two “L”s has been used for years in the business world to reserve office space or desk space in larger corporations. Hoteling in foster care is a last resort choice of placing children in hotels when no other safe options are available. Kids all over the state of Maine are in desperate need of foster families. These kids range from babies to teens. They need a safe place, a sanctuary, a family where they can feel love and security to heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect.
Foster parents come from all walks of life and for various reasons have decided that helping children is a mission in their lives. Foster parents are there to comfort, nurture and provide a safe home for these children while their parents work on the reasons that brought the child into care. Thank God for people who are willing to give of themselves and their homes. For those that know the “starfish story”, foster parents are making a difference, one child at a time.
With almost two thousand children in foster care in the State of Maine, DHHS continues to struggle to find enough foster families out there to care for the children. “Hoteling” is not the answer. It is a desperate choice when no other options are available for children. Kids deserve so much better than this, especially after the trauma of abuse, neglect and the trauma of being removed from the only family they have known. This is happening simply because there are not enough families willing to care for them. This is a tragedy upon a tragedy for these kids.
You may have thought about becoming a foster parent, but decided for many reasons, that it wasn’t for you. There are many reasons to not be a foster parent but only one reason to be one. Kids need families. It is that simple. If you know someone who would make a good foster parent, have them call me, at 949-5588 or come to the Informational Meeting on foster parenting at Community Health and Counseling Services at 313 Enfield Road in Lincoln, on November 13th, 2019 at 6 pm. If you can’t make it, please call me and we will schedule a time that best fits your schedule.