More than eight years after fostering a little boy, Terra Jones and her husband still have a place in the child’s life.
The Encinitas couple, who also have two biological daughters and adopted another girl a few years ago, began fostering the boy, who was four months old at the time, through Angels Foster Family Network in San Diego.
Jones said fostering was a good way to give back.
“We decided it was a good opportunity to do what we wanted to do, which was help children in need,” she said.
The boy, who came from a household with domestic violence, was with the Jones family for 11 months.
But after reuniting the boy with his mother, who was in the military, the family continued to be in his life by watching him while the mother was deployed. And each time he visits Southern California, he calls the Jones house home for a weekend.
“We developed a really good relationship with his mom and were able to support her,” Jones said. “We’ve been a real support and resource to her. That encouraged us to keep going. It’s just been really neat to see him grow up.”
Over the course of five years, beginning in 2009, the family fostered four children, including the boy. Their time with the children ranged from two-and-a-half weeks to two-and-a-half years, which was when they were fostering the girl they eventually adopted.
Jones became a board member at Angels after the adoption.
“We love the way that Angels focuses on attachment of the young kids, particularly under the age of 2, and just really giving them a strong basis for a future, whether they’re with their birth parents or they’re adopted by someone,” she said.
The families maintain relationships with the birth families during the fostering process, she said. Each family has to be screened with background checks and psychological tests, and must prove they are financially stable.
Families may foster one child or sibling set at a time to better create a bond. Fostering situations can last anywhere from a couple days to more than two years, depending on what the court decides.
Jones said Angels, which receives calls from Social Services regarding children needing homes, has a “deep need” for more foster parents.
“We’re turning away kids every day,” she said. “The county calls, and we have to say we can’t provide families for these kids. We want to be able to say yes to every child that needs a home.”
An effort to raise funds for Angels will take place May 12 at the nonprofit organization’s Putting on the Ritz event.
The evening, which takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. at the US Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego, will include dinner, an auction and dancing.
Proceeds will go toward funding for Angels.
“There are a lot of expenses to providing the proper training for these families to be well-equipped to provide a loving home for the kids,” Jones explained. “Funds also go toward support groups for the families. There are just a lot of expenses on top of what the county can provide. This kind of event is important to keep Angels going and to bring more families in.”
To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.angelsfoster.org/fosteringfutures/