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LETTER: Fostering beneficial to both kids and caregivers

'The experience of fostering contributed to my motivation to get more involved in my community,' says letter writer
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BradfordToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a news release regarding the need for foster caregivers in the region, published Oct. 16.
It takes a village to raise a child. When a child or youth is put into foster care, they need reliable adults and families to step up to become their temporary village and provide a safe and nurturing environment for them during a difficult time in their lives.

Over the past 10 years, my husband, Greg, and I, along with our four children, have been foster caregivers for 15 children and youth through Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions. Opening our hearts and homes to these children and youth is a rewarding feeling for us all. While we hope the love, kindness, and care we show the children has an impact in their lives, they have also taught us so much, inspiring us to be the best versions of ourselves and to be be-you-till-full.

Fostering has not only helped to improve my personal growth and development, but it has helped give me the confidence to know I can help others and change the world for the better by being a leader and advocate for our youths. The experience of fostering contributed to my motivation to get more involved in my community by founding the Impact Youth and Cultural Centre and Rise Up BWG, joining the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions’ Simcoe Muskoka Black Community Development Council, and now, running for elected office. The children and youth I’ve met have changed my life and each one will always have a special place in my heart.

The Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions team has been so supportive and my family and I have never felt like we were alone in this process. I encourage anyone who is interested in fostering to reach out to Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions, ask questions, and consider the impact that they can have as a safe and reliable adult for the children and youth in our community who are going through some of the toughest times of their lives.

Cheraldean Duhaney
Bradford West Gwillimbury