Fostering children is not for everyone, but a sincere inclination to foster is not only valid but also necessary in today’s society where almost half a million children need homes. Many of us have love-spilling-over and are ready to help, and healing does come when the decision to foster is made with wisdom.
As a former foster parent, there is no doubt that my own communion with God played a strong role in fostering. I felt a spiritual courage, and I learned to respect the views of other foster parents and/or social workers.
Kim Hansel, editor of Fostering Families Today, was interviewed as a spokesperson for information that can conjoin wisdom and inspiration to support a rewarding fostering experience. Here are her answers.
How long have you been editor for Fostering Families Today?
K.H. I’ve been on the staff of Fostering Families Today for 10 years and editor for most of that time. It’s a great job that I stumbled upon by accident. I guess maybe there was a higher power that knew where I was needed.
When and how did the magazine Fostering Families Today get started?
K.H. Fostering Families Today publisher, Richard Fischer launched Fostering Families Today to help educate foster parents throughout the country in the hopes of achieving better outcomes for children in foster care.
Who decides the themes for each edition of Fostering Families Today?
K.H. Deciding the topics for each issue is a fun process that involves getting input from our advisory board, asking for suggestions on Facebook pages and through other venues, and just some deep discussion amongst our staff about what foster parents really need.
How does your writing/editing team keep the balance of point/counterpoint on each subject?
K.H. We really look at a subject from all angles and try to give voice to everyone impacted by the foster care system. We definitely always try to get input from professionals, foster parents, and current and former foster youth because they each have a very distinct perspective to share. If you leave someone out, you don’t get the full picture of the topic.
As a former foster parent, I learned how valuable spirituality is in the children’s success. Many of Fostering Families Today’s writers discuss spirituality in their articles. Is it difficult to get your writers to open up about the intimate facet of spirituality?
K.H. Actually, it’s not difficult at all to get people to write about their spirituality in their articles…it’s just part of their story. So many people feel called to become foster parents and they want to share that with others. As for some of our former foster youth, spirituality is what pulled them through some very unfortunate circumstances, so they want to share with others what they’ve learned on the journey.
What is your favorite part about being editor?
K.H. I love sharing people’s stories. Each one is so unique and so compelling. It’s nice to give voice to people who aren’t necessarily listened to every day. It’s just uplifting to be able to share their stories and know that hopefully you’re making a difference in someone’s life, somewhere.