Devereux Pennsylvania foster parent helps children thrive and achieve goals
For more than four years, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania therapeutic foster parent Shereen Evans has provided a safe, supportive and loving home for children in need.
Since August 2019, Evans has worked with Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) Philadelphia foster care program to help youth living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences reach their full and unique potential.
“I have fostered five children through Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS,” said Evans. “With every child, I experience new joy, love and challenges. I respect and value each of my foster children because they make me a better person and help me appreciate life in more ways. Being a foster parent has not always been easy, but when I face a challenge, I just think of a smile, a hug or the love I have shared with those in my care and that makes me never want to give up. There are so many more children that need me, and I need them.”
Helping youth thrive
As a foster parent, Evans says her ultimate goal is to provide a stable, healthy and positive home environment for youth, and help prepare them for the future by teaching independent living skills, such as:
“One of the best feelings is when a child accomplishes a goal I helped them set – it’s a testament to why I continue to foster youth,” Evans explained. “I’m currently fostering a teenager and her son. This girl dreamed of graduating from high school, and told me she needed someone to support and motivate her. Throughout the pandemic, she continued to take classes online, maintaining her honor roll status. In August, she became a high school graduate! I am ecstatic that she accomplished one of her goals, and my heart was touched when she gave me a beautiful gift and card, expressing her love and appreciation for me.”
Advice for new foster parents
Evans says being a foster parent is both challenging and rewarding. Through her experiences, she has learned how to become more patient and not take things personally.
“If you are considering becoming a foster parent, I encourage you to set goals and understand that every parent-child relationship comes with its own rewards and challenges,” Evans noted. “Remember, these children need us. We are not doing this for ourselves, but to help improve the lives of individuals who are seeking hope and healing. That selfless reason will help us become the best foster parents we can be for our children.”
Learn more about Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS’ foster care services, and learn how you can become a foster parent with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
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