All the months are dedicated to something or the other, like October being called ‘inktober’ or November being the ‘No Shave November’. Likewise, November in the U.S. is also known as the National Adoption Month. Why? It is worked out as an initiative by its Children’s Bureau. They, among their many amazing functions, are keenly spreading awareness on the important topic of foster care. Elise Dallimore, a professor at the Northeastern University, is a foster parent as well and is licensed to counsel others who are deciding to foster or even adopt a kid in the neighbourhood.
She has her own radical views and perspectives on the obstacles that people face while opting for this system. Her new study, however, is revolutionary as it focuses on foster parents and their recruitment and maintenance. On the question of the challenges faced by the foster care system in today’s society, Dallimore points out that it is not just limited to a locality or an area, but is actually a human rights crisis. She admitted, “Foster children are largely invisible until there is a high-profile abuse case or even death linked to the foster care system.” Even after a lot of changes to the structure and the overall system, no noticeable difference is seen.
Dallimore is thrilled to share her own experience, now that she has been a foster parent for around seven years. Even though people think its hard, she claims it to be otherwise. It has changed her and her family’s lives in a positive way, as she proudly tells how her own biological son has grown to be more empathetic and considerate. She and her family follow one of their family mottos quite judiciously – ‘We do hard things’.
A lesser-known fact about Dallimore is how she is actually the primary investigator of new longitudinal research – I mean, how cool is that? So, here she is studying and analysing different attitudes and experiences of foster – including adoptive too – parents in Missouri and Mississippi collectively. The goal of this project is to, “help inform both state and federal legislative structures that define and regulate foster care systems, especially as it relates to protecting and advocating for children in care as well as the families caring for them.” And according to Dallimore, the research has paid off, as the results are promising and the consequent actions are going to efficient and effective.