Washington is an odd state and has some things about it that make being a Foster Parent interesting, one of which it the whole concept of unification. I believe that these children belong to their birth families and that reuniting them is the best plan. The state of Washington wants me to believe that too. The goal is to get the parents (or parent) well enough to take care of their children and then to join the family back together. Some of the Fosters are open enough that they allow the families to be part of their families too, like going to events and sharing in special occasions. Charley and I have decided that if the state has cleared certain family members for contact we will let our "kids" have plenty of contact with their birth families because....Well, because that is how it should be. We are just their guardians. The Watch Keepers. The safe tower. The protectors. For some of these children family visits help them keep hold of their idenity and roots, thereby eliminating that whole "lost child" feeling that so many in foster care use to have. Our kids are lucky enough to have contact with select members of their birth family which is a blessing for all of us, I think. For the kids, for the family and for us.
Love heals wounds, even if these little kids are only in our home for a short while.