When I was a young child, I wanted to grow up to be Mrs. Santa Claus. This is because I wanted to have access to Santa’s giant sack containing every kind of toy in the world. I grew out of the Mrs. Claus phase by the time I was 6, but I doubt the excitement over seeing new toys ever really leaves a person.
It occurred to me this morning that I am creating new
Santa Clauses with our Foster Care Managers as they are being sent a variety toys and books, for every age group, to carry around with them when they do their monthly visit.
I can just see the curiosity on the children’s faces wondering what will come out of the sack. And the best part is that every child will get a new toy. But I am getting ahead of myself here on how this all started.
In order to more closely monitor developmental progress in the children, we have revised our foster care report format. The Henan programs were the first to try out the new format on our April reports.
The new report has several sections which include movement, vision & hearing, language, cognitive, and social development. The new format has been useful in determining where the children are developmentally. They also give the foster families ideas for age-appropriate activities to promote development. Each age group has different developmental milestones to check their progress against. The reports vary every other month so that the children have 2 months to work on their progress before they are tested again.
As we know from experience, children who have spent their first months in an institution may be somewhat delayed due to the lack of one-on-one attention that families can provide. We are hopeful that these new reports can more closely monitor the development of our foster children and we can intervene when necessary to get the best care for the kids as early as possible.
Much of a child's development centers on play. We have learned that many of the children do not have toys in the home that help promote their development and learning.
So, we are providing the foster care children age-appropriate toys so that they can be encouraged to develop to the best of their ability.
This will be a learning process for all of us to see if this format will help the children. We are hopeful that it will a the first step on the road to a brighter tomorrow.
Note: please disregard the child eating the book that we sent. This program is still in the trial stages.
For more information about our Foster Care Programs please go to: