“Two weeks before Belinda gave birth to little Mathias, she made the very difficult decision to leave her boyfriend after he trashed their home in a fit of rage. Many miles from family and most of her friends, and with only a few dollars in her pocket, Belinda went from couch to couch during the last weeks of her pregnancy. When she gazed into Mathias’ face for the first time, she knew a couch-to-couch existence was not good enough for him and that caring for a newborn with little support or resources would make it nearly impossible for her to establish a safe and stable home for them both. She wondered if she should consider adoption. She feared the stress of the situation could cause her to relapse. Fortunately, Belinda learned of transitional infant foster care, and and saw it as a way to give her son what he needed at that time, while she figured out what would be best for both of them in the future”.
What is Transitional Infant Foster Care?
Transitional infant foster care is care provided by loving families for a brief period of time, so that parents can resolve issues that would interfere with their ability to care for their babies. Sometimes parents are unable to take care of their infants due to health or financial difficulties. For instance, they may need to attend a drug treatment program after a child is born or finding housing that is safe for the infant. In other cases, the parents might be trying to decide if an adoption plan is the best option for their infant.
Transitional care families are volunteers who share their hearts and homes with these babies. They are not necessarily looking to adopt a child; they volunteer because they enjoy the work of caring for babies. Yet, transitional care families must go through the same intensive screening process as adoptive families, including home study, background, and reference checks. Also, they must complete ongoing training in caring for infants.
Is this the same as CYF foster care?
Not really. Most parents who choose to use MAYA’s transitional infant foster care will not already have CYF involved, and choosing to use transitional infant foster care will not initiate involvement of CYF.
In cases where CYF is already involved with the family, the parents may elect to use MAYA as a transitional foster care provider. However, CYF will set the requirements these parents must meet in order to parent their children.
About MAYA Organization’s Transitional Infant Foster Care Program
MAYA Organization offers transitional infant foster care at no charge to parents who need this service. The baby may be a young infant, just born, or even unborn at the time the parents make arrangements for transitional foster care. The biological mother and father meet with one of our counselors to establish a plan for care. After placement of the baby into transitional care, ongoing contact with the parent(s) may include:
- Counseling and support
- Referrals for needed resources, such as job readiness support, housing assistance, postpartum care
- Visitation between parent and infant, if desired
- If the parent is not considering adoption:
- Infant care classes
- Provision of baby supplies, furniture, and equipment
- If the parents are considering adoption:
- Counseling about the option and decision-making
- Services to create an adoption plan and match with an adoptive family, if desired
For transitional infant foster care families, MAYA provides monitoring, supportive counseling, and help with baby equipment, clothing, diapers, wipes, and formula.
If you need help or if you want to learn more about becoming a transitional infant foster care family through MAYA Organization, contact Tomilyn Ward at 412-945-7670 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.