The program director at our site works to create a warm and engaging environment for the families that attend. Watching her thoughtfully pull food from the cabinet that will satisfy and nourish both child and parent. Choosing which toys to bring from the cabinet depending on which families will be there for that day. Having lights turned on, coffee made and heat to a comfortable temperature well before the first family arrives. She creates a welcoming space for them.


When parents enter the space the first thing they want to do is share about their week, ups and downs, since they’ve last been there. There is safety in sharing real life. If there is time before their child/ren arrive they will pour themselves a cup of coffee as well.


When kids arrive there are smiles and hugs and a quick transfer of information. Every child is ALWAYS excited to see their parent/s!


I love the extended visit time and the amount of space they have to play in. There are couches to take naps together, hallways to kick balls up and down and of course a water fountain to repeatedly press and watch the water flow. With decent weather – outside play – puddles to stomp in, walks in the neighborhood or playing on the playground.


One mom in particular stands out to me. She casually mentors the other parents, checking in with them to see how they are doing. She always arrives early enough to create space for her and her daughter to connect 1-1 after school. She prepares hot chocolate and gets together some snacks she knows she likes so they can sit together and chat about her day at school.


I see parents supporting each other and having their kids play together.


Some parents need extra support, learning new and safe ways to talk to their children or to physically respond to them. Some are still learning how to care for basic needs. Having staff and volunteers there to help with supportive parenting skills training is vital.


As a foster parent and TFR volunteer, I am grateful for the resource that TFR provides to families who are successfully moving toward reunification.


Written by Tenisha, Rockstar Volunteer at The Family Room