If you’re curious about professional parenting or becoming a Host Home for adults living with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), RISE Services, Inc. Utah invites you to learn about one of our devoted Host Home families. Jennifer and Luis have been professional parents for about 30 years and have welcomed foster children, youth, and adults who live with I/DD into their home. Let’s learn more about how they got started, some of the hard and good stuff, and advice they have for future professional parents.
Jennifer and Luis have been professional parents since their four children were still living at home. When their children were grown and had families of their own, Jennifer and Luis became interested in becoming a Host Home and fostering adults with I/DD. They started out doing respite care for a friend who was taking care of an adult child living with a disability. There came a point when their friend could no longer care for their child, so Jennifer and Luis decided to become a fully licensed Host Home for the state of Utah and invite this individual into their home.
Jennifer and Luis have enjoyed caring for four adults with I/DD. One individual successfully returned home after a year under their care, while another transitioned to independent housing. Before officially becoming foster parents to another individual, they took the initiative to spend a weekend doing respite care to get to know him better. Following this, they warmly welcomed him into their home.
Being a Host Home has its challenges. Jennifer and Luis have found they can’t be as spontaneous as they used to be and are grateful to be able to utilize respite care services for planned events. Another area they struggle with is the disrespectful treatment their foster adults receive when out in public. They both stand up for the adults in their care and do not allow others to treat them as “less than” but as the valued individuals they are.
Jennifer and Luis enjoy being involved in the lives of their foster adults and are amazed at what big hearts they have. Since they were professional parents while their children were growing up, they discovered how much the experience positively influenced them. Today, three of their children are active Host Homes for adults with I/DD, and the fourth enjoys a career advocating for people with developmental disabilities.
Advice for Future Professional Parents
What advice do they have for future professional parents? Remember that you are never alone. There is always support from RISE Service, Inc. Utah, whether meeting with a foster care coordinator, receiving monthly visits from social workers, or calling any time of the day or night when there’s an urgent matter. Help is always available.
If you have questions about becoming professional parents or host homes with RISE Utah, we encourage you to contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and, if interested, guide you step-by-step through becoming a professional parent of adults living with developmental disabilities.