Saheli recognizes that analogous to their strategy to support and provide assistance to women of South Asian origin, children of similar ethnic backgrounds also need assistance from time to time, especially if they are in a situation requiring them to be placed in foster care. Saheli is launching a new program called 'Foster care initiative'. We would like to provide a resource of foster parents for children who need to be placed in a foster home. Specifically, in the case of children of South Asian or Arab origin, Saheli thinks it would be very useful and enhancing for a child to be placed in a home where the environment is more familiar to the child - both from a cultural as well as language point of view.
To this end, Saheli, together with the Massachusetts department of Children and Families, held an information session for those who would like to become foster parents. The one hour session helped those interested in becoming foster parents to understand the implications and responsibilities associated with being a foster parent and to also understand the subsequent steps required in this process. The session was conducted on April 13, 2021 and was attended by about 20 potential foster parents. Saheli was gratified by the interest shown in the community for this effort.
Saheli plans to run these information sessions again as part of this initiative. We invite all interested in fostering to attend one of these sessions. For more information please email Nirmala Nanguneri
“Children who need foster care are already emotionally vulnerable. For them to be placed in a family totally unlike their own makes is that much more difficult. I strongly believe that the new initiative by Saheli with the help of the DCF to pair South Asian children with South Asian foster families will really help their well-being and lead to better outcomes for these children. We are very grateful to the DCF for their training and to the families who are stepping up to qualify to become foster parents.”
Meenakshi Garodia, Vice President of the Saheli Board
“I think every child is important, no matter what the background. I have hard time seeing children suffer for no fault of their own. We have many families in our community who have fostered and have adopted, we are just not aware of it. At the same time we have children waiting in the system who need foster parents and ultimately adoption to good families. It took me some time to understand the need of children in our south Asian families, it is as urgent as in any other community. I am thankful to the Saheli board, especially to Nirmala Nanguneri and Aditi Soni, our board members, for initiating this program to help our children.”
Neelam Wali, President of the Saheli Board