Foster Parents – Jenny and Shane Tripp
Jenny and Shane have been with Angels’ Arms for eight years and during that time, have fostered 24 children of all ages. Jenny and Shave have been fostering for a total 10 years.
Why We Foster:
At times we’re asked why we foster children or what is it like fostering children. As to the why? Well, my parents fostered for many years. I followed suit in my early 20’s. My husband and I started by providing respite care for my parents and other foster parents for about 15 years. During that time, we witnessed the effects left on children from the trauma that they where exposed to. My husband Shane and I knew we had to be a part of the solution to give foster children a safe place to heal and hopefully flourish.
So, in 2009 we decided to foster ourselves. We thought, ‘My God, these children have experienced more trauma in their young lives, than we would combined in our whole lifetimes!’ We had to step in. As to what it’s like fostering, I’m not going to sugar coat it – it’s tough and the struggle is real with a broken system, but so so worth it, knowing we are helping change a young life completely around by building trust and providing an example of what healthy home life should look like.
We couldn’t have provided our foster children a deeper understanding of love given by strangers/ community until we joined Angels Arms. When we joined Angels Arms, not only did the children have us, but they had a large extended family. This community of people show our children that people do care and that they’re loved and valued. The children also all of a sudden had children in the other Angels’ Arms homes to spend time with and relate to and build friendships with.
Many children we’ve had in the past have since been reunited with their bio families or have been adopted and when that occurs, they have to re-learn to trust the now safer environment that they were removed from when put in care. We are thankful to know that when the children do return home, they remember the community love and that wonderful individuals gave what they could to help them in a time in their lives when they needed them the most.
We truly couldn’t do what we do without those who want to contribute in some way to our children. It truly does take that village to raise a child while giving their families time to work on healing themselves to be the best they can be for their children upon their return. The children leave knowing they were loved and cared for by the Angels Arms community. Our children are taught self respect and how to advocate for themselves in the future. They leave knowing that they have us and Angels’ Arms, as we all have their backs whenever and for however long they need us.”