My Fostering Story
Why We Help Children
NewPath’s first foster child entered their foster care program in 1992. Today, NewPath has helped thousands of foster youth find safe and loving homes.
NewPath Foster Care
NewPath Child & Family Solutions (formerly St. Joseph Orphanage) has supported children and families for over 193 years with more than 33 years as a foster care agency. The community’s needs have grown over the last several years, and the growing demand for foster parents has become apparent. Thousands of children in foster care need homes. NewPath understands the importance of offering our foster children and families the support and guidance they need. Our services provide care for families and children of all ages with all levels of mental and behavioral health concerns.
There are currently 16,000 Ohio youth in foster care and only 6,000 foster parents. Foster parents open their hearts and homes to help children who need a safe place to grow and develop into adulthood. NewPath reached out to our network of licensed foster parents to understand why they do what they do. We compiled a collection of some of our favorite responses.
Why did you become a foster parent with NewPath?
NewPath Foster Parent since July 2017
“I chose NewPath because my daughter, a caseworker for Hamilton county, said it was a good agency when I decided to become a foster parent. Foster parenting has been both fulfilling and challenging. Working with NewPath is joyful during the holiday season. It’s awesome that NewPath helps with gifts, and holiday parties for the kids are great. Prayer has helped me through rough times and talking with my case manager, Tammy.”
NewPath Foster Parent since August 2016
“What brought me joy? I recently had a newborn baby boy placed with me for the first three months or so of his life. I’m so grateful and thankful that I was chosen to care for him. I’ve been waiting for a baby for a long time. Either I’m going or coming back from out of town. I prayed and asked God to bring me a baby. It was going into the new year when He did. I was on my way to leave for Florida the next day, and a text came through. It said that they have a 4-day-old baby if I’m interested. I immediately had to talk with my spiritual sister, children, and the rest of my support team. Everyone was all in, so I told her yes!
My family and I were anxiously waiting. When he arrived, I was so happy. God gave me the patience, the ability to be very attentive, and the strength to get up through the middle of the night for feedings and diaper changing. Looking into his eyes to see the joy on his face brought me joy. I loved seeing all of his changes from day to day.
When it was time for him to leave to go live with family, I was happy and sad. The caseworker was very friendly and allowed me to see him off. I put him in the car seat. He was looking me in the eyes. He started crying, so I soothed him. Then we stared at one another before they drove off. I’m grateful for the little time we spent together. I cared for and loved him unconditionally. It makes me happy knowing he will be with his loving family. Most importantly, he will still be able to see his biological mother, who loves him very much.”
NewPath Foster Parent since April 2007
“It’s been a journey, that’s all I can say. I never thought I’d be in it this long. I believe the need kept me. The need for foster parents is still great, and I honestly think I’ve found my niche. I’m good at what I do with foster kids – like how people are good at singing and dancing, but that’s not me. A lot of people have clear paths that they are passionate about. And this is what I’m passionate about. But I never knew what it was, I thought I’d be something different, but I keep staying because the passion is still there.
I meet a lot of people who don’t understand. They say, “how can you do it?” God puts you where you want to be, and this is me. I had children when I was a teen. You couldn’t have told me I’d still be raising children 45 years later, but God puts you where you need to be, and this is where I need to be.
I do know this. I realized it the other day. I’ve got these kids who’ve been with me three years and were supposed to have been reunited with their families two years ago. I had initially thought I’d be doing more with teen moms. I was a teen mom, and sitting with these kids, I kept telling them that life wasn’t over. It’s a terrible situation to be separated from your parents, but we can’t let that define us. Try to be the best you are every day and not let your situation define who you are or can be.
I’ve had to tell this to children with real scars, emotional and physical, and I always preach the same thing. I know they’ve developed behaviors and are challenging because of those things. I’m doing my best not to let that situation define their future or who they are. We are more than our scars.
The joy I get out of this. When my daughter passed away, it was hard. These children I’ve fostered showed up and showed out. Anything I needed, they were there because we’re a family. Not all of them, but so many are still in my life. I’ve had the pleasure of some coming back to say they didn’t understand it then, but now they know. I don’t give up on kids. One girl called me at 4 AM to tell me she loved me and appreciated me. She said she is the woman she is today because of me, which is rewarding.”
NewPath Foster Parent since April 2007
“I became a foster parent to support teenagers before they turn eighteen. It’s been a pleasure to be able to fulfill a need to care for and support someone else. It fills me with great joy watching teens become respectful, responsible, and caring of themselves and others.”
NewPath Foster Parent since August 2010 (Hamilton County since May 2006)
“I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been doing this. I started with Hamilton County before joining NewPath. What got me into the foster care system is the ministry I have. I’m a Christian, and God has called me to help. Even when the kids are challenging, it could be the worst kid ever, and it’s a long journey, but it’s what I’m here to do. It’s been rewarding. Believe me, I have learned a lot from these kids. Even at my age, I’m still learning.
Every time a kid comes into foster care, I hear the sad stories. It brings me back every time. My kids ask me when I’m going to retire, but it’s too rewarding, and it’s still a calling. I honestly don’t know what I’d do. I’m 66 years old, and I don’t know what else I’d do. I’ve had these kids in my house so long. They keep me moving. I’m not ready to be still and do nothing.”
Keith & Karen D.
NewPath Foster Parent since February 2019
“Keith and I felt a calling to foster years ago. I was a Certified Child Care Provider at the time. You couldn’t do both, so we let it go. As we got older and our children grew up and had families of their own, we still felt that pull to foster. After a serious discussion with the whole family, we decided to pursue becoming foster parents. NewPath was the second agency we conversed with, and started classes soon after. We thought we would take slightly older children, but since birth – 12 yrs is my wheelhouse, we usually have little ones. We also take children with special needs and currently have three special needs kiddos in addition to our adopted son. As Keith always says, ‘It’s what we do.'”
Foster Hope. Foster Futures.
NewPath serves children, from birth to age 21, who have been abused or neglected and need a stable home. We have an exceptional network of foster families located in counties across Southwestern Ohio, but many children still need homes.
We offer both therapeutic and traditional foster care. Foster parents receive special training to help children heal from their cognitive and behavioral issues. Although this is a challenging task, the reward is great!
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