Devereux MA/RI foster parents provide safe, supportive environment for youth in need
Sheila Castillo was inspired to become a therapeutic foster parent with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Massachusetts and Rhode Island after seeing the positive and powerful impact foster parents can have on a child’s life.
Castillo’s best friend was a foster child who formed a strong and healthy relationship with her foster mom. In addition, Castillo’s former stepmother was a foster parent.
“My stepmom began fostering children once I grew older. She was always caring and loving toward me, and I am very close to her. She made a great stepmom – and foster mom,” said Castillo. “My best friend still communicates with her foster mom. I am amazed at the relationship they have today. She calls her ‘mom’ and everything.”
Adopting from foster care
Since 2017, Castillo and her husband, Yusel Rivera, have fostered five children. In July 2021, they adopted one of the children in their care, Natalia.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I said I wanted to adopt if I didn’t have a child of my own,” Castillo shared. “Fostering helped me officially decide to adopt. Natalia, who is 10, came to live with us when she was 6 years old. She had experienced a lot of trauma and loss in her life, but had a major transformation in our care. We were afraid that if we didn’t adopt her, and her environment changed, she would go back to the way she was before. Adopting her was the best decision we ever made. The team at Devereux was amazing to work with, and supported us throughout the adoption process.”
Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Therapeutic Foster Care Regional Director Claire Sullivan, M.A., LSWA, also noted, “There are so many children who are waiting for caring families to welcome them into their lives. We are incredibly grateful to work with people like Sheila and Yusel who not only are wonderful and nurturing foster parents, but also adoptive parents, providing Natalia with the love and stability she needs and deserves.”
Creating a lifelong bond
Currently, Castillo and her husband are fostering two children, ages 4 and 7. While fostering has not always been easy, Castillo says the rewards far outweigh any challenges they may face.
“The most rewarding part of being a foster parent is knowing that I can provide a safe environment for these kids.” Castillo explained. “Right now, my youngest foster child looks at me like I’m his mom. The first foster child I ever had – he’s 16 right now – still communicates with me and calls me ‘mom.’ We built that relationship.”
Castillo says being a foster parent has changed her life, and she encourages others to consider helping youth in need become the people they were meant to be.
“Not only did my dream come true of becoming a foster and adoptive parent, but I get to see children progress in positive ways. When they come from an unhealthy environment to a safe and loving home, it’s amazing to witness their transformation after a few weeks, or even days – they’re completely different. I encourage others to go for it. Open your home to a child in need. To see them grow and do better is really amazing.”
Support our foster care programs
At Devereux, we believe every child deserves a loving and nurturing family – and a positive home environment – to help them thrive. Please consider showing your support for our foster care programs by making a donation to Devereux. Your generous gift will enhance our services as we strive to help those in our care build a better tomorrow.
Learn more about Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island’s foster care services, and learn how you can become a foster parent with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
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