Want Advice On Foster Care? You Need An Expert
When you take your car to a mechanic, you want to be sure that the person looking at your investment knows what they are doing, right? How much more do you want epic advice then from someone that is telling you how to care for priceless children in your home.
I (Darren) was fortunate enough to be able to speak with Dr. John DeGarmo. I was able to learn more about him and his wife as well as glean insight about a monumental project that the dynamic pair are embarking upon to change the lives of 16 foster boys.
About The Man
As you can hear from the above interview, Dr. DeGarmo is a man of many talents and endeavors. He has been a teacher, worked in the wrestling industry, and has been published in several different venues. However, my interview with John found that he was not only extremely wise and successful but he is also someone that is very approachable and passionate.
John and his wife are not just giving tips and advice to foster parents – they are on the journey along with us. The DeGarmos decided to care for foster kids after losing their first child to a disease.
“..Since then we’ve had a desire to help other children. We lost a child. We realized how precious life was…so we decided to help children in foster care. Here it is 13 years later and fifty plus kids and we’re still going strong.”
The First Foster Placement
I asked Dr. DeGarmo if he remembered his first foster placement. He recounted how he was ill prepared at the time as he encountered a child that cried herself to sleep. The girl naturally wanted to be with her birth mother and did not want to be in John’s home.
John also explained that he was also not ready for the loss and grief that accompanied the day the child went home.
“When a child comes to our home we give them what they need. We give them the stability. We give them the security. But we give them what they need the most and that is someone to love them. We love them unconditionally. However, challenging that may be – we love them unconditionally. When they leave it’s like losing your own child.”
Dr. DeGarmo found that pray, tears and a healing process were needed after seeing a child leave their home.
What One Thing Would You Tell The World About Foster Care?
“Not everybody can be a foster parent and I understand that. But everyone can help in some way.”
- Team up with your local foster parent association to adopt a child for the Christmas season or their birthday – maybe buy them gifts. The money for gifts usually comes out of the pocket of the foster parent who doesn’t receive enough financial help to raise the child in their care.
- Become a mentor or a tutor for a child.
- Provide a child with a suitcase. Most foster children have to move from home to home with plastic bags carrying their belongings.
- Provide a meal for foster families.
- Provide childcare for foster parents.
Help the DeGarmos Make Room for 16 Foster Boys
Obviously, when I hear about all the experience and knowledge that the DeGarmos have with children, I want more kids to be positively impacted by this family. Dr. DeGarmo also wondered how they could impact more children without burning themselves out.
The answer is opening a residential group home for boys ages 10 to 18. Within this home John and his wife will be able to give stability and love to boys that for various reasons cannot be in a traditional foster home setting. However, they aren’t stopping with merely giving them a roof over their heads and three square meals a day. The boys will be taught essential life skills that will prepare them to be productive members of society.
“…we’re going to have them so ready when they leave our home. It’s going to be amazing! This is going to be a place where they’re going to find hope. They’re going to find healing. They’re going to find love. They’re going to find family…”
The boys will ALL finish high school as well as learn to cook, clean and obtain a driver’s license. They will be ready to move on in life past high school. Whether that is college, military, technical school or a job. However, the most important aspect of this project is giving these boys a home that they can come back to later in life. They won’t just be provided services – they’ll receive a family that they can journey with throughout life.
How Do You Help?
John and his wife will be tackling the difficult part of this great endeavor – they’ll be raising the boys. However, in order to have the home ready for all of the boys the DeGarmos will need to raise $300,000. At the time of this interview they have a GoFundMe campaign where donors can be directed. I would encourage to get more information through this website:
You can also make a donation on this website. What kind of donation are they looking for? $1,000? $100? $1?? Absolutely!! With the help of caring individuals such as yourself, 16 boys with bleak futures will be given hope. How many dollars have you spent this week? How many of them gave hope? Even one dollar this week could have a huge impact.
Dr. John DeGarmo has been a foster parent for 13 years, now, and he and his wife have had over 40 children come through their home. He is a popular speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system, and travels around the nation delivering passionate, dynamic, energetic, and informative presentations. Dr. DeGarmo is the author of several books, including the brand new book Helping Foster Children in School: A Guide for Foster Parents, Social Workers, and Teachers, and the foster care children’s book A Different Home: A New Foster Child’s Story. Dr. DeGarmo is the host of the weekly radio program Parent Factors with Dr. John. He also writes for a number of publications and newsletters, both here in the United States, and overseas. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, through his Facebook page, Dr. John DeGarmo, or at his website, http://drjohndegarmofostercare.weebly.com.