Jessica Gallina – Expert Contributor
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Hello and welcome to the Safe to Hope podcast. My name is Ann Maree and I’m the Executive Director for HelpHer and the host of this podcast. On the Safe to Hope: Hope Renewed in Light of Eternity podcast, we help women tell their story with an eye for God’s redemptive purposes. All suffering is loss, but God leaves nothing unused in His plans. We want to help women see His redemptive thread throughout their circumstances, and then look for opportunities to join with God in His transformational work.

Last time on the Safe to Hope podcast, I introduced you to our first storyteller of the 2024 season. And that was Caroline, as I said, and as you learned in the first podcast, Caroline is a foster mom and she’s the mother of five beautiful children, some fostering and some biological. But she is also a woman who has both witnessed and experienced trauma in a very different way than what we’ve talked about previously on this podcast. We’re doing this because foster families populate evangelical communities. So the question we want to address in this season is: “How can the church come alongside and care for the very unique needs of both the parents and the children of these families?” And we’re talking about biological children and the foster or adopted children.

Today, I’m really excited to introduce our expert contributor who is Jessica Gallina. And she is a licensed professional and biblical counselor at Fieldstone Counseling in Akron, Ohio. She is also a foster and adoptive parent and has personally experienced the healing power of God’s hand through difficulties. Her wisdom for some of the issues we’ve discussed with Caroline, today that she’ll be enlightening us with, particularly as it relates to the mind-body, the whole person. And the care we talk about, often here at Help[H]er is going to be a really rich resource for our audience.

But anyway, welcome, Jessica.

Jessica
Thank you so much for having me here today, Ann Maree.

Ann Maree
Absolutely and as always, we’re the ones that are privileged to have our guests and to learn from you. By way of reminder, on our Safe to Hope podcast, our storyteller names have been changed in order to protect them and those associated with their stories. The Help[H]er ministry exists to help people in crisis and to train people helpers so integrity is one of our concerns. To the best of our ability, we have sought to honor the privacy and dignity of those who share their precious stories with us. So Jessica, I just did the brief introduction. And I would love to hear more about you get to know you better. Is there anything you’d like to add so that our audience can get to know you as well?

Jessica
Yeah, so personally, I’m a mom of two twin boys. So I’m sure you can imagine that my home is often quite lively. One of my children was born biologically to me, and one was adopted through foster care, and they are absolutely precious to me. We have so much fun, and we also have some hard moments and seasons. Professionally, I mainly work with trauma survivors, children, teen girls, women. I do a lot of work with families and domestic abuse survivors. Those areas are really close to my heart. I love to share God’s love for people who are experiencing or have experienced devastating life events or relationships. And my counselees hold a huge part of my heart.

Ann Maree
Thank you. That’s good to hear. It goes along with our heart here at the ministry. And yeah, you’ve covered quite a few topics in your professional work life that we also address here on the on the podcast but also in the ministry. So thank you, thank you for the work that you’re doing. So how did you personally become involved in foster care and adoption?

Jessica
I started my career off as an intervention specialists in a public high school and did some leadership work in that area as well. It was really hard to see that many students struggle due to coming from hard places. And I recognized that I had is desire to love on kids from hard places as a parent. What I didn’t realize was how much I had to learn about trauma parenting and the healing work that I still needed to do. There’s nothing like parenting to show us those places where we need to do our own work.

Ann Maree
Very true. You sound a lot like our storyteller who was also coming from a school platform when she was first introduced to a foster care student and developed a passion for the needs involved . So I see where God’s working here. Can you talk to us about how children become placed in the foster care system and what typically happens once they’re in the system?

Jessica
So it typically begins with a call from a concerned family member or teacher or counselor or neighbor to the county child protective services. And each state is able to define abuse and neglect differently. That is also the case with domestic abuse and coercive control, which many times ties into removal situations and impacts foster placement. And so it depends on the state. And then a staff member determines if a case is going to be open for investigation. And then during that investigation, there’s a determination on how the county will proceed: if they are going to provide resources, if they are going to have a case manager, if they’re going to look at removal or placement with a kinship, family member. And most cases need really robust evidence to be opened. And in Ohio, one of those big markers is whether there is a mark left on a child. And again, it depends by state and what that looks like. But that’s what it looks like here in Ohio.

Ann Maree
Okay, that’s great information to know. I wasn’t even thinking about the connection with a possible domestic abuse situation. There’s a ministry with which our church participates called Alongside Families where families can get involved so that they can intervene before this actually happens and try and come alongside the parent and the child and give care so they can avoid the foster care system. But again, I just didn’t even think the situation of neglect and/or abuse in the home. So yeah, very interesting to tie that together.

I’m going to play something that Caroline said, and then I have a question at the end of it. So let me just cue that, and I’ll ask you when it’s over.

The more I read, the more foster parents I met, the more I researched, the more I was faced with the question: Is Jesus enough to heal my children? I was taught about theological principles that explain Scripture about who Jesus was that helped make sense of brokenness, which was good, and it spoke to things that have helped me and things that we should care about. Knowing what we believe about who Jesus is, is really important. But what I didn’t know and had limited knowledge on was how Jesus cares for brokenness, how he cares for those who are suffering, how he cares for the vulnerable, how he loves the biological family of my children, how he hates evil, brokenness, abuse, neglect. I did not know that Jesus designed the body and brain to respond a certain way when in danger. And how actually, the body being triggered as an internal response to a threat is not a sin. But it is actually how God designed our bodies to respond. These were just things that I didn’t know because I didn’t have any experience with them.

Ann Maree (continues)
So much, systemically happens that impacts all sides of the equation: the biological family, the foster family, the children. It’s brokenness all around. It’s much bigger and more complex than most people recognize. Why does it matter to view this through a sort of collective or systemic trauma lens?

Jessica
So there is, like you said, a larger situation that’s happening, and many times it’s generational trauma, and something that I see quite a bit is women who are under-resourced or have experienced major traumatic events through major traumatic relationships, especially parental ones. And those are women that we need to try and resource. Like you were saying, we need to be able to come alongside women and children to provide safety before there is a split there.

Just the removal of a child from a parent, whether it is right away at birth or soon after birth or later down the line, that removal causes significant trauma. Any adaption is trauma. And if we’re able to, to get ahead of that we can hopefully prevent some of the trauma. And there’s also things that happen on the other side of it. So as on the adoptive and foster care side, being able to have an open relationship if it’s a safe situation and the child desires it, that can be something that can be really helpful and healing depending on the situation. I’m not an adoptee so I can’t speak for them. And individual experiences differ whether adoptees want to make that contact or whether they don’t. And so it can be really helpful to understand what the individual adoptee wants to do.

Ann Maree
Just the fact that there’s a removal involved indicates trauma. So I’ve been learning this as I’ve been listening to Caroline telling her story. My perspective of a foster family has shifted as she has explained the things that have been so very difficult for her to navigate around in her mind. And that being comments and questions that others from the outside direct to her like whether she is going to adopt this child when other people don’t even recognize that that may not be and probably isn’t the best case scenario for that child. Like you’re saying it’s a loss, it’s a trauma. And the open relationship is probably much more significant for that child than being adopted into another family. Not always, I’m sure, but a good amount of the time.

And I appreciate and thank you for saying that you can’t speak for the adopted child. I want to give a plug for our episode 4. Jonathan Holmes will be on. He is adapted, and he’s going to give us a lot of insight into what that experience is. Thank you. That’s wonderful information too.

Can you speak to the ACEs study, and even just define that for us for the audience, and then help define developmental trauma, and then its impact on the brain and the body and why children are in a much more vulnerable position due to their age, as well as relational and attachment needs. That’s a big one. So break it down as best you can.

Jessica
Yeah, it’s so important, though. ACEs stands for: Adverse Childhood Experiences. And what the ACEs study showed was that when there were early childhood adverse experiences, they later showed up in physical ways in people down the line. And it may not be right away, when you see them. It could even be decades later. You can see those health differences in the brain, you can see them in the body with things like cardiac events and shortened lifespan. Those health occurrences are really significant when it comes to the ACEs study. And what I see with trauma survivors that I work with is that they often have things like autoimmune diseases, and they are much more likely to require resources so that they are able to provide for themselves due to chronic disability and other things that come up. And again, this is a very individualized thing as well. And that is something that really indicates for us the importance of resourcing with care, psychological care, spiritual care, health care to make sure that we are serving those populations well.

Ann Maree
Okay. Good, thank you. And you’re answering the question I’m thinking about, and that is: What does the church need to do? But you’re using the word “resourcing” quite often to aid those who need help biologically and spiritually for their health. So here are some questions then, “What kinds of trauma are these children facing? And how does this impact the parents?”

Jessica
It really is situational so it depends. The big categories of abuse are sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse. And we talk a lot in biblical counseling about spiritual abuse as well, and that really all abuse is spiritual abuse, because it damages our functional theology whether we’re children or adults, and that is something that can be really difficult. And neglect is a big piece as well.

Here’s a way to help explain what we see from kids coming from hard places. There’s something in our brain that is called the amygdala. I like to refer to it as the “fear center.” And that’s where we get that fight, flight, freeze, fawn response. So many times, our kids can land in that place as having a trauma response. That can be very dysregulating. And that front part of the brain where we make logical decisions, where we think and evaluate, and where we make our choices. That part of the brain gets shut down. I think of it as having a big X over it. And then all of our resources go to that “fear center.” So that “fear center” is trying to keep us safe and alive. And that’s where you see things like meltdowns or kids running out of the home. And that can be really dysregulating for the child. It’s very difficult for them, they don’t want to be doing those things, they’re scared. And it can be really tough for the parent, because many times that dysregulates the parent. So the first step in those situations is for the parent to regulate their own emotions, so that their nervous system can get calm to help them be able to meet their child with a calm response to help them the best they can, while the child is in that trigger place.

Ann Maree
Connecting back to something I think you said at the beginning of this  journey, if you will. I realize that this journey connects you to a deeper awareness of perhaps your lack of attachment to your emotions or lack of regulation of your own emotions, as a parent. And to realize how important it is to have connection and regulation with your own emotions as a foster parent – actually this applies to any foster parent or any of the parents of children who are experiencing trauma of some kind, and there are a lot of them, unfortunately.

So, yeah, these are big, important concepts to think through, especially if you’re one of the audience members thinking about fostering or adopting. Why does it matter, that a different approach to caregiving and treatment is best in these situations?

Jessica
What I have found is that traditional parenting practices that we learned when we grew up, we have learned over time, many ways to do those things better. So it’s the principle that our parents did the best they could with what they had. There’s the concept that when we know better, we can do better. And when it comes to trauma parenting, we can use parenting practices that are really solid, and then turn the volume up really high on those.

So, for example, it is good for any parent to be able to remain calm when a child is in their “fear center.” However, when it comes to a child who comes from a hard place, it becomes much more important that the solid parenting skill in use has to be tailored to that child. And so there are those general principles that are good parenting principles and then the parent needs to learn how to apply the parenting principles to the specific child and how they respond in their trauma.

In 1 John 4:7, it says, “Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” We strive to reflect the love of God well, to our kids, to the individual unique child that we have been given to parent.

Ann Maree
Thank you. Can you share one of the principles of parenting that you’re thinking of when you’re when you’re saying that?

Jessica
Yeah, so one, one of those pieces is, many of us grew up in areas where punishment was thought to be really effective. And something that we have learned is that punishment actually doesn’t teach our kids. Many times it makes them either afraid or they want to avoid the consequence so they don’t do the thing. So it may have looked like it was effective, but research shows that it is not. And so it’s better to be able to identify the emotional need of a child and meet it. That’s called attunement. Attunement is a really big part of having healthy attachment. And so for our kids who come from hard places, particularly, that is the biggest place that we want to work on and reflect God’s love is in that attunement place. Many of us think that our children are going to grow up, and they’re going to make bad choices or behave badly if we don’t nip those in the bud and provide structure which is important. However, usually punishment isn’t the way to provide that structure.

Ann Maree
Yeah, important thoughts here. First of all, let me just say that when I was brought up, and nothing against my parents and how they disciplined me. Because who knew better? We had Dr. Spock, that’s how long ago it was for me. Anyway, what I didn’t learn as a child is what to do with those emotions, except how to stuff them and not deal with them in any way. And then all the way through my life to today (I’ll be 61 this year) being told that so many of those emotions are bad and not even being allowed to have them.

All that to say, I think what one of the benefits that the church could look at as we have more foster care parents and foster children in our congregations is this: as a foster care parent, you are not allowed to use corporal punishment in the home. And so there has to be a broader thinking for how to navigate the meltdown, the defiance, the rebellious. I’ve taken some training, and I’ve really appreciated what I’ve learned. Even though my kids are grown, and they’re probably be like: Why didn’t you learn that sooner?

But, you know, also understanding that in the in the heat of the moment, those are some of the hardest things to be able to do, to calm down as the parent and listen and allow the child to work through those emotions. I’m just brainstorming here. But I’m finding this topic very interesting, and I’m wanting to learn more about it. And I would ask those in the church with influence who are listening to also consider learning some of these skills for the sake of not just foster families and adoptive families but also for the sake of children who could grow up knowing how to better regulate their emotions.

Jessica
Yes absolutely, about the okay-ness, of having emotions. I think that historically in the church, we have struggled with being able to allow emotions and be okay with emotions. And, you know, the fact that, that God welcomes our emotions, and he can handle them. He can handle our anger, he can handle our anxiety, he can handle our grief. And if you see that so many of those emotions in the Psalms being expressed.

Ann Maree
Caroline said it earlier in the queue that God can handle our emotions, of course, because he gave them to us. And he gave them to us for a purpose. Our emotions are alerting us to something. My daughters do this very well with their children by just saying, “Use your words. What’s going on? Describe what’s happening in your body? Let me play an excerpt here of what Caroline has to say about this topic, and then I have a question after we listen to it.

Our daughter did something called neurofeedback, which is basically a type of feedback that focuses on the activity of the brain. It’s a training method that is based on reinforcement learning. So it’s where real time feedback is provided to the trainee, and it’s supposed to reward and reinforce certain desired brain activity, and then inhibit unfavorable activity patterns. So basically, we had heard about this and had heard that neurofeedback can help with things like trauma, can help with attention. She had ADHD, so we thought that it could help with that. She was having a bit of a hard time academically in school, and so we had decided to give it a try. So our hope in doing neurofeedback was not for a heart change. We know that even if her brain changes, it’s not changing the heart. That was not our goal. We know that no therapy, medication or neurofeedback can change any child’s heart. Jesus is and will ever be the only one that can transform a heart from death to life.

So neurofeedback actually did help our daughter’s brain heal through neuroplasticity. She was able to get off her ADHD medication which, if you’re a parent and have a child on ADHD meds, you know that it is just a long up and down process of trying new meds and then taking them off, and it affects a lot of different things. And for her specifically, it affected her sleep. So she was having to take melatonin every night to go to sleep, and she was able to stop taking that.

After she got off the ADHD medication, she had started working above grade level academically. And because her brain is moving towards healing, she now has the capacity to be able to sit and process why her body responds the way it does to certain things. She’s seven and we can actually have conversations about why she feels like her body is responding in a certain way. Or we tell her that maybe her brain is saying this but we help her to consider what we know to be true. And then we also incorporate in the discussion, “What does God say is true?” So those things have drastically changed our home and have changed her.

Ann Maree
This is fascinating. Brain science is fascinating to me right now. How does neurofeedback work, why is it so effective, and why is it a kind approach to care?

Jessica
Neurofeedback really started to get big when Bessel van der Kolk came out with his book, The Body Keeps the Score. He recommended it as the next effective treatment for us to look at for trauma. Caroline described it very well. It rewires the brain. And it can heal some of those brain wirings and the way that the waves go in the brain as the result of damage it has suffered from trauma. And that damage is real physical damage in the brain. So it can be helpful to think of it as like when people are in a car wreck can get traumatic brain injury. Trauma can inflict that kind of devastation in the brain.

And so, having a physical way to treat that like neurofeedback can be so helpful. And I think of neurofeedback is one of the layers of care. Like Caroline said, it doesn’t change the heart. Only Jesus can change the heart. And that spiritual layer of care is so critical. I believe as a Christian, it is the most critical piece, and the body piece is very important as well. And it can help us as people and as children who have come from hard places, be able to understand Scripture better and to be able to receive love. People who are reflecting God’s love better can wrap their minds around who God is, what kind of characteristics God has, how to take God into their hearts and receive his goodness. And so I think that there’s that layered piece, but I think that it can also very much work together.

Ann Maree
Are you able to give us an illustration from start to finish what it looks like?

Jessica
Oh, yes, absolutely. There are two different types of neurofeedback. One is where there are electrodes that are actually placed on the head. And those electrodes have some waves that come through, and they actually work on the brain wiring. And the other way is feedback from watching something on a screen. So there’s a screen, and it becomes dimmer or brighter based on the brain activity. The brighter screen rewards the brain so the brain wants to do that action again. And so whatever the goal of that action is, it causes the screen to get brighter.

Ann Maree
Do you do you foresee where neurofeedback could be helpful for other brain difficulties or trauma?

Jessica
Yeah, it has been shown to be effective in in different ways. Studies are still being conducted on the longevity of the effectiveness of the procedure. For example, with ADHD, it initially looked like it was going to be effective. And it was discovered to be effective while a person is getting it if they have that diagnosis. However, over time, the effect fades away. We still do know that it helps with trauma, and we are continuing to look at what that longevity looks like, but it hasn’t shown the same regression as ADHD has.

Ann Maree
Interesting. But we do know, because it’s been well documented that there is neuroplasticity, and that allows the brain to heal, which is really good news in both biblical counseling care and in trauma care.

Throughout this series, we’ll be talking about foster and adoptive caregiving and how the church can partner with families who’ve taken on this calling. Our storyteller will mentioned several times that the goal of fostering is not adoption, but reunification. Yet, in North Carolina foster care, a child has only a 42% chance of reunifying with their parent, and faces an average stay in the system of about 20 months. So considering reunification as the goal, what does it looked like for the church to come Alongside Families? Well, coincidentally, you’ll hear me talk in our podcast series about a ministry by that very name, Alongside Families is a really innovative and wise approach that a church might easily consider adopting into their own local church. My friend Michelle represents Alongside Families in her church. So I’ve asked her to talk with me briefly about this ministry.

Welcome, Michelle, and could you just paint a picture of Alongside Families?

Michelle
Thank you, Ann Maree. Just imagine for a minute being a single mother who needs emergency medical care but who has no friends or family to lean on for support. Imagine if your child had to be removed from your custody into the foster care system simply because there was no alternative when you needed to be hospitalized. Alongside Families believes that families belong together and that the local church has the power to make that happen. Alongside Families equips volunteer host families and partner churches to temporarily care for children while the parent gets back on their feet. In approaching care in this way, we prevent children from unnecessarily entering foster care when abuse and neglect haven’t occurred, and provide a dignifying way for parents to ask for and to get help when they need it.

Ann Maree
Yeah, I think that’s just genius. And also Alongside Families really does demonstrate a similar heart for women in crises as Help[H]er ministry. So we’re happy to share this option for the local church to consider. And Michelle, can you share some statistics for the outcome when families are cared for through Alongside?

Michelle
Well, our average hosting length is 20 days, and we have reunified 100% of children with their parents.

Ann Maree
Unbelievable, 20 days versus 20 months and also 100% – that’s pretty impressive. How can a church get involved with Alongside Families.

Michelle
As a church-led privately funded ministry, we’re always looking for gospel-centered churches and donors to fuel this ministry of family preservation. If you want to learn more, you can visit us at alongsidefamilies.org. If you don’t live in North Carolina, check out upstreamcollab.org to find a collaborative of similar ministries, championing gospel-centered family preservation across the United States.

Ann Maree
Wonderful. Thank you, Michelle. And we’ll be sure to include these links in our show notes.

So, back to you, Jessica. What are some of the ways that we as Christians have false beliefs about adoption or foster care or the biological families?

Jessica
This is a really great question, Ann Maree. I think there’s a lot to think about in in this in this place. One perspective is that adoption is all celebration. That’s true but alongside it, there is a huge element of loss and grief. Also in adoption, there is goodness and redemption. So it’s really a both/and scenario. Sometimes there’s the hurtful message, that adoptees should be really grateful. And that’s problematic, because really they have lost one of the most important things that we have on earth as a human, and that is their biological parents. And so there’s massive trauma in that place. And it’s really important that we acknowledge that and we come around adoptees in the ways that they need and that we listen to what they have to say about what they need. And again, there are some general principles and at the same time, we need to listen to individual adoptees and ask questions and listen.

Also, in terms of biological families, I think that there can be a lot of judgment with parents who lose their children to foster care or are trying to reunify and things like that. And I think that it’s really important that as Christians, we look upon them as sufferers, and we acknowledge how difficult generational trauma is, and the kind of intensive treatment that needs to be provided, the kind of spiritual guidance, the way that we as a church need to come around parents who are struggling, rather than to look upon them with judgment.

Ann Maree
Caroline talked a lot about things that she heard, not in malicious ways, coming from good and caring people who just wanted to say something. What are some of the things you’ve heard?

Jessica
I’m glad you brought that up because many times it’s not purposeful, but coming more from not understanding about the situation. But I’ve had people tell me, “He is so lucky that he has you.” And that hurts my heart because I know how much pain my son has suffered over the years. And, yes, I love him very much and I try really hard to parent him well, and I think he feels that, and at the same time, he has suffered so much loss. And if I could have made that different for him, I absolutely would have. I think that many people who are genuinely wanting to be kind and loving, there’s a dismissal of the biological parents and an avoidance to acknowledge them even in conversation. It’s more like, “Well, it’s good that the child is away from them and safe. Without the concern to ask, “What happened to the biological parents” Are they okay? Did they get help?”

Ann Maree
That’s helpful, too. Yeah, the Body is there to care for everyone. Not just that foster child or adopted child. And again, I’m going to point toward Episode 4 where you’ll hear from Jonathan who was adopted, so you will hear his perspective as a now adult who is looking back at his childhood and his story, and what he was thinking, and what different things were said to him.

And again, I’ve said these things so I’m not giving myself an excuse. It’s kind of like with grief (and I may have said this with Jonathan, too), we don’t know what to say. There are so few words in the face of the fallenness of the world. And so it’s not a dig to say, “You said that? Oh, gosh, that was the worst thing you could have said.” It’s more about being aware of how those words may be received.

Jessica
Yeah, I agree. I think that it’s one of those places where none of us know how to interact well. And spending time learning and understanding, you know, we can all learn and grow in that place.

Ann Maree
You’ve talked about the importance of listening and Jonathan also speaks to the importance of listening to the particular person and their unique experience, because every foster child and adoptive child will have the same inner story and experience. How can we better care for children and families in our church communities?

Jessica
I think that we can better care for children and families in our church communities by recognizing the different ways that we can serve children who are in foster care or have been adopted. And obviously, one of those ways is through serving as a foster parent or as an adoptive parent. And there are also a lot of other ways to help. And some of those are practical ways, like meal trains, gift cards, child care, and also there are people who have been gifted with doing well with individuals or children who struggle. We can also provide services children need making sure there are resources available like trauma counseling, helping foster and adoptive parents get the self-care and self-stewardship that they need.

And there’s also the connection piece, so spending time with parents. Many times there’s isolation there, because they need to care in a specific way for their child or children. Being able to bear that burden with them emotionally because there can be many feelings of being misunderstood because they feel that other people don’t know what they’re going through. So connecting with them can be a huge help.

And also like Caroline talked about, we can have community groups. She mentioned that there was a group that she goes to, and we have one in our area. I think it is very helpful to have people around you that are going through similar things. Even if they don’t go to the same church having a just a general group there to be able to connect and talk about those things that they’re experiencing. We can also be intentional about having specific prayer for others who are struggling. We can ask people what they specifically need prayer for. I think can be really helpful.

Churches can also talk about foster and adoptive care from the pulpit, encouraging that to be something that we talk about in church. And working towards doing better at listening to parents who are in foster care and listening to adoptive parents. And of course, particularly listening to the adoptees and hearing what they need.

Ann Maree
That’s great, comprehensive, thank you. As you were talking, I’m just I’m envisioning a resource that could be produced for the church. Kind of like a welcome packet type thing. There’s probably foster care or adoptive kids in the church already, but if there was a known family, bringing in a child to their home, this welcome care kit could be passed out, and it could help the congregation to participate in like a baby shower, or provide a framework where, you know, members in the church could provide a bunch of gift cards and a calendar to mark the nights that certain members will be coming with a meal. Caroline talks so much about the friends who brought over specifically what they needed, because the new foster family often doesn’t know what a toddler eats, you know. That’s great, yeah, thank you.

Jessica
Yeah, those sound like a wonderful ideas.

Ann Maree
Yeah, I wonder who’s gonna do it.

Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed talking and getting to know you a little bit, and Caroline had also mentioned you’re going to love this. So thank you for joining us and for giving us your wisdom but also for giving us your insight of things that we don’t talk about in the church today like neurofeedback. Demystifying that for us was helpful. Yeah, grateful to have you on the podcast today, Jessica. Thanks for being here.

Jessica
Oh, thank you so much for having me, and it’s an honor to be in this work with you.

Ann Maree
Dito. Yes, absolutely.

So that’s all for today and on the next Safe to Hope podcast when we talk again, it will be with Caroline. And in that episode, we’re going to discuss how she experienced God in her circumstances. So I look forward to that episode as well, as I’m sure our audience does as we hear from her perspective.

If you want to learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent, please visit your local county’s department of social services website. If you want to learn more about foster care, we suggest you start with some of the following book resources: Foster the Family by Jamie Men and Reframing Foster Care by Jason Johnson. If you’re interested in learning more about trauma and building connection as a care taker with a vulnerable child, we will include several resources in our show notes. As well, we will include a link if you are a foster parent looking for a support group in your area.

 

Safe to Hope is a production of Help[H]er. Our executive producer is Ann Maree Goudzwaard. Safe to Hope is written and mixed by Ann Maree and edited by Ann Maree and Helen Weigt. Music is Waterfall and is licensed by Pixabay. We hope you enjoyed this episode in the Safe to Hope podcast series.

Safe to Hope is one of the resources offered through the ministry of Help[H]er a 501(c)(3) that provides training, resources, and the people necessary in order for the church to shepherd women well. Your donations make it possible for Help[H]er to serve women and churches as they navigate crises. All donations are tax deductible. If you’d be interested in partnering with this ministry, go to helpherresources.com and click the donate link in the menu. If you’d like more information, or would like to speak to someone about ministry goals or advocacy needs, go to helpherresources.com

We value and respect conversations with all our guests. Opinions, viewpoints, and convictions may differ so we encourage our listeners to practice discernment. As well. guests do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Help[H]er. It is our hope that this podcast is a platform for hearing and learning rather than causing division or strife.

Please note, abuse situations have common patterns of behavior, responses, and environments. Any familiarity construed by the listener is of their own opinion and interpretation. Our podcast does not accuse individuals or organizations.

The podcast is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional care, diagnosis, or treatment.

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