Well, here we are, ten days into National Foster Care Month. There’s a lot out there going on in the State of Washington, and around the USA this month.
I’ve walked around the lake in Olympia, Washington for “Walk Me Home to Where I Belong” and doled out free cake and coffee to patrons at the GATEWAYS Bingo Hall in Lakewood, Washington, to remind them that their dollars support foster kids. I’ve met with all the therapeutic foster care providers in Tacoma, Washington in a brainstorming session to discuss how to chart the course for the future, and I’ve said goodbye to two really great advocates for foster care.
I include the goodbyes in the list, because change is essential to progress. And it’s not because the people leaving were bad, they were REALLY, REALLY Good!! AND – they aren’t really gone; they’re not dead, they haven’t stopped being foster parents, Scotty has failed to beam them up… So, they are still doing their part to lift up the children that we’ve entrusted to them. But, they’ve passed the baton.
Steve and Daniele Baxter, outgoing Co-Presidents of the Washington State Foster Parent Association, are sailing off into the sunset on a big boat for the adventure of a lifetime.
I am truly jealous. I know it’s hard for them to let go with so much left to do, but they deserve the break. They’ve been warriors and champions for a long time and I expect they will continue to contribute from where ever fate leads them next.
Looking back on the changes that the Baxters helped to bring about, they can be proud. We had an amazing initiative take seed here. Many kudos have to go to those who forced the dialogue by filing suit. It has raised the level of debate in our state capital about how we want to handle foster care.
Many people like the Baxters were key players in forming the debate that followed and the reforms that were adopted. The lack of speed at which reforms are implemented may drive some folks back to court, but the good news is that we will have a pilot program to look at how the concept of professional foster care homes could work. I’m looking forward to seeing the reviews of that program.
The Baxters have passed the baton, so who will take it up? Who will lead the charge in the State of Washington, answer the call, take up arms, step forward, fight the good fight, and forge ahead for the future of our children?
We at Foster Truth say from the bottom of our hearts, “Bless you, Baxters, and thank you.”
And also, “OKAY, FPAWS, get a move on, already! Everybody’s watching!”