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Personal Stories and Comments by our Foster Parents and Foster Kids

"All human beings have a purpose, a reason for being. Most of us believe that there is something more important than what you can buy, acquire, or market. The passion at the heart of every great undertaking comes from the deep longing of human beings to make a difference , to have an impact. It comes from what you contribute rather than what you get."

- Peter Senge, 1998

A Foster Family's Letter »

The following letter is from a San Mar Treatment Foster Family to the coordinator of the program:

Dear Ellen,

Wasn't our last TFC training session just wonderful?!! I started thinking about how inspired I feel after we all get together. There are so many things you and San Mar's team have done to make being a TFC family such a rewarding experience. Realizing that they may seem taken for granted, I thought I'd show our appreciation by listing as many of those needs you have met for me and my family as I can:

1. Your excellent support!

2. The phone calls we make to your home which takes time away from your own family.

3. The way your own family is so understanding and helpful to us.

4. The 24 hr/day intervention as needed. Just knowing we can reach help when we need it means a lot to us.

5. Knowing you carry a beeper for emergencies.

6. San Mar's never ending patience and understanding.

7. Your consistent positive and cheerful attitude.

8. Your example of dedication and commitment to San Mar.

9. The way you recognize how very hard we try to do the best we can.

10. The way you try to match the children with the right family.

11. The way you find the right people to care for all our children during TFC training sessions or when respite care is needed.

12. The in-service training provided by San Mar has always been a significant strength which has been effective in improving our abilities to provide the best healing environment that we can offer as a TFC family.

13. Your on going commitment to teach those in our program professional growth and development which improves our performance.

14. Our reimbursement has always arrived on schedule with no errors.

15. We agree with the San Mar TFC purpose and philosophy of care.

16. I appreciate your respect for confidentiality.

17. The way San Mar gives consideration to our ideas and opinions to situations.

18. I have always been provided with the information I need to adequately provide home atmosphere that is comfortable for the foster child.

19. Team staffing's have always been held in a professional manner.

20. The special activities (which our own children love) such as the picnics, Christmas party, banquet, snacks at training's, gifts and words or appreciation or nice notes.

21. Your communication and listening skills are an outstanding help to us.

22. San Mar's TFC handbook is very well written and is a helpful reference for us to use concerning procedures, methods and other related information.

23. This list only includes those things that came to me instantly. With some thought, this list could be much, much longer.

Ellen, you are quite a blessing to us all. Being a TFC family has been a fulfilling and satisfying experience for us. I especially appreciate the gentle way you have lead me through difficult times while caring for these children. In role modeling the kinds of behaviors that you use, I am learning that compassion, strength, growth and love can get you through any tough times. Your calmness, soft voice, honesty and management skills are some things that we admire about you. I am impressed with how well suited you are with this kind of work. I feel that through your friendship the pain and hurt of past and present "life experiences" can be turned around and used in a very positive and productive way. Again, thank you for being so wonderful to work along side with, while doing God's work with these special children.

Sandy Fischer and Family

Now I can grow, change, and be happy. »

The following letter is from a foster child to the coordinator of the program:

Dear Ellen,

I like living in this foster home.

They treat me good and fair. I lived in many different foster homes all during my life. I've been very afraid in most of the homes, but not in this one. In some homes I was left in respite for days at a time so they could get away from me. I often felt like they wouldn't come back and pick me up. I lived in homes where the kids would do things to try and scare me, and I was scared. I'm treated good here. I know what its like to live in other homes and that's why I know I like this one best. I love having people who do things with me like playing, skiing, skating, always talking, reading, watching movies, and eating together. My Christmas in this home was the best I've ever had! I get to do things like volunteering at the SPCA (I love cats), going on field trips, picking out my own clothes, going to church activities, family trips, and stuff. In other homes I felt hateful inside and acted hateful. I did things I shouldn't have done. I mistreated other kids and people because of the way I felt. I have no idea now how I could have been that way, but I was.

Now I'm not. Now I live in a home where the story is totally different. I feel better now. I don't know why I was like that before. I was mean. I threw things, hit people, had temper tantrums, and other dumb things. I would fight with people, cuss, and be mean. I would grab kids and hurt them and be mean in school. Now I don't do any of that. I feel like I've recovered from being crazy. Now I feel like I got help for me to change myself. I feel like living here with these people helped me to get better. I do better in school and I like myself now because they like me. I want to stay here. My life is better for once because of San Mar.

Things have changed for me. I was stuck before, but now I can grow, change, and be happy.

Thank you.