Watkins Mill teacher becomes foster parent during the pandemic

For most children, going into a new foster home is a terrifying experience. But special education teacher Rori Silver is doing everything she can to change that, one kid at a time.

In April of this year, Silver experienced a major change in her life: becoming a foster parent. Since then, Silver has fostered six children, ranging in age from two years old to ten years old. The current child she is fostering is a three year old girl and she has been with Silver for five weeks. 

Silver decided to start fostering kids because of the pandemic.  “I thought there was a real need for [fostering] and it would just be a nice thing to do,” Silver said. Over the past few years, the thought of becoming a foster parent was on her mind, but it wasn’t until this past year that she made the commitment. 

In order to become a foster parent in Montgomery County, one would have to complete a 27-hour foster parent training program, have one’s home inspected by the county, have several interviews with social workers, complete any other needed paperwork, etc. After getting licensed, potential foster parents have to complete ten hours of continuing education annually. 

Outside of the required classes, foster parents must take, there are optional classes for those who do not have a background with children. When the children arrive to stay with their foster parent(s), they do not come with a lot of information, and at times they do not come with belongings like extra clothes. 

“[It’s challenging] trying to come up with a balance to get enough things to make the child feel comfortable and secure, but also that I could change it over to the next child,” Silver said. 

Despite the challenges, Silver recommends becoming a foster parent. “I think it’s a wonderful experience, but it’s definitely a commitment that’s going to be life changing,” Silver said. Her most memorable moment was taking the nine-year-old boy she was fostering to the fair for his first time, and her most worthwhile experience was with her current foster child. “When I pick up the three year old from daycare she comes flying out of the room and [starts] hugging me and kissing me,” Silver said. “It’s really cute.” 

For anyone considering fostering children, Silver said, “Even though it seems challenging at first, once you get a routine down, it is very rewarding.” 

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