SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Julie Steiner


April 18, 2007
Wednesday PM

I have lived in Ketchikan almost all of my life - this is the place I call home. But there are some "problems" that I have had lately in the community. Let me explain a little more. My fiance and I have a total of 9 kids in our house- yes, 9. You read the number right. I have 2 boys of my own, and my fiance has 3 kids. On top of that, we do foster care for the State of Alaska. And right now, we have 4 kids in foster care. And we love it...... We enjoy helping these kids out who need it. These kids need a family - and a safe place to be. That is what we are here for.

Unfortunely, with this many kids, it takes a lot of money to go do something: for example, roller- skating or swimming, or even going out to eat dinner. It might seem like an inexpensive "family activity", right - but not when you are going with a family of 11.

The problem I have had - recently -is that whenever we ask for a "family-rate" at the swimming pool, or the skating rink, they tell us that foster kids do not count as a family! What kind of deal is that? So - you are saying that even though we take in foster kids - treat them as our own - and make them part of our family, that they are "not considered family?" I dont get it? What is the difference? Come on! That is just a total cop-out! I will say - that the Rec Center has graciously agreed to give us the family rate for our household. Our kids go skating every single Saturday night - without fail and we all have a great time. I can understand that a lot of people try to pay for all their friends under the family rate - so I see why they are careful. But please dont tell the kids that "your not a family - you dont even have the same skin color." THAT IS WRONG! Shame on you for saying that to these kids. Yes - this happened to our kids about a month ago. That was when I went!
and took care of it.

On the other hand, I wanted to get a monthly pool pass for the kids to go swimming once a week - maybe twice - and they told me that once again, foster kids do not count. WOW! Again - that is just horrible to say - and this has been said before in front of the foster kids. Imagine how they feel when they are being told that they are not counted "as a family."

I sure hope that other families dont have to go through this like we have. It's sad - and wrong. I dont even know how to explain it - but that is such a horrible thing to do! Just remember - foster kids are people too - and they are trying to belong just as you and me.

Think about it!

Julie Steiner
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 18, 2007 - Published April 18, 2007

About: "Local Resident, Foster Parent and Business Owner."



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska