Dorothy – Foster Mom, Youth Advocate, Role Model

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Dorothy Cordero has been a foster mother for many years.  I interviewed Dorothy and her foster son, Chris, for The Teen Toolbox National Foster Care Month blog series on teen males in foster care.  Chris has been a part of Dorothy’s family for six years.  There are two other male foster teens living in the home. Dorothy is passionate and compassionate.  She epitomizes motherhood.

 

When asked about her experience with foster care in her home state of New York, Dorothy said it has been “great so far”.  “I have been able to help kids succeed in life and provide a loving, nurturing home for them,” she continued.  Chris agrees.  Dorothy and Chris have a very good relationship.  Dorothy took Chris in with open arms despite the foster care file that preceded his arrival.  Chris has stated and Dorothy believes wholeheartedly that there were reports in his file that were untrue.   The pair was only able to discover the untruths through open communication.  They have bonded, respect each other, and even completed each other’s sentences during our interview.

 

A Part Of The Family

Dorothy agreed to be interviewed for our blog series as a way to support other foster families.  Dorothy hopes that all foster parents show love and compassion and make the kids who come into your home feel like a part of their family.  She says that it is the job of the foster parent to begin to build trust in the relationship.  Dorothy’s continues to share her wisdom by advising foster parents to “learn about the kid’s personality and guide them in the right direction.”  She has this down to a science.

 

Of course life is sometimes stressful.  When I asked Dorothy how she overcomes obstacles and challenges she answered “with the help of our KidsPeace workers and my family.”  Dorothy and Chris learned about The Teen Toolbox through KidsPeace.  KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, families and communities.

 

Support Teen Males

Dorothy and Chris agree that at age 16 all children in foster care should receive mandatory training to develop independent living skills and they should learn a trade.  This will allow youth to secure a job and housing before they age out of care.  Not only is this in the best interest of the youth, but Dorothy says that it will allow “Moms like me peace of mind knowing that the child they helped raise and has become a part of the family is safe and successful.”

 

Dorothy says that she is lucky that Chris turned out to be a good kid and wishes other foster parents would give teens a fair chance in a loving home.  Dorothy has opened her house and her heart and created a home and family for teens that other foster parents may overlook.  Dorothy is more than a foster mother; she is a youth advocate who wants the best for all children.  Happy Early Mother’s Day Dorothy!

 

Stay tuned for additional posts in our National Foster Care Month blog series.  You can also support teen males in foster care by joining  our Pack A Backpack Drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

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