One key factor in a positive foster parenting experience is an empathic employer.
I am grateful every day for mine.
In the four plus years my husband and I have been full-time foster parents, we worked through a whole host of challenges among the young people living in our home, including logistical, behavioral, emotional, medical, educational and physical.
Through it all (and a global pandemic!) my employer Winch Financial and my co-workers have been unfailingly supportive.
At one point, a young person in our care was leaving school and showing up at my office. My co-workers gave us the space we needed to talk and my boss allowed me to leave in the middle of the day to walk him back each time it happened.
Periodically, I need to drop everything and leave the office. I’ll be called to school for an emergency or need to take a child to an appointment that can’t be scheduled at any other time. No one has ever even questioned my absences in these situations.
Our office supports the foster care system in other ways too. My co-worker Tanya is a music mentor to children in the Austin Texas foster care system, and Winch Financial donates funds and event tickets to various foster care programs as well.
When the pandemic hit, our Winch Financial administrative staff made sure we were well equipped to work from home and, thanks to that logistical and financial effort, we are all able to work from home should the need arise.
Our founder, Christina Winch supported many altruistic endeavors in her personal life. She and her husband Tim worked as house parents at a group home and volunteered as host parents for the ABC (A Better Chance) program.
She has always encouraged her employees to support a wide range of charities as well. As a group we have walked for Down’s Syndrome, prepared and served meals at an emergency shelter, sorted and stocked food at various pantries, raised funds for various charities and attended many events.
These activities don’t detract from the work we do for our clients. In fact, they enhance it by creating a team atmosphere full of people who honestly enjoy sending good vibes out into the world.
May is national foster care month and a good time to acknowledge companies like Winch Financial who make it possible for their employees to be active foster parents and still continue working jobs they enjoy.