Providing Foster Care Is a Multigenerational Tradition for the Stocktons
Aaron and Sandy Stockton say becoming Treatment Foster Care (TFC) parents was a natural fit for them. You might even say it has become a “family affair” for the couple, who raised four children of their own and convinced a few of them to become foster parents, too.
“I’m one of seven kids, so I’m used to a big family and having a lot of people around my house — siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews,” Sandy says, explaining her interest in foster parenting.
What Sandy didn’t know until recently was that her own mother had been in foster care for a few years as a young child. Even though she never talked about it while raising Sandy and her siblings, Sandy says her mother’s experience and willingness to help others shaped her as a parent and a person.
“When I look back, there was always someone in the house, somebody else’s kids, and now I know why,” she says. “It was just in her nature to help people.”
It’s Sandy’s nature, as well. As a registered nurse, Sandy is trained to provide care and comfort to people in need. Doing so at home seemed like a natural extension of her career.
“Treatment Foster Care challenges me to use my nursing experience and I like that,” she says.
Being a mentor
Like Sandy, Aaron also provides more than just parenting to the kids under his roof. A handyman and a self-starter himself, Aaron teaches each of the TFC boys useful skills and a work ethic that they can use to build their self-esteem and support themselves in the future.
“Aaron and I decided that, when we had boys, we needed to teach them skills so they can go out and support themselves in life,” Sandy says. “The boys have learned so many things from Aaron. Even if we do not have work for them, Aaron will find something for them to do — cut the grass, paint a room, something so they know they earned the money we give them.”
The Stocktons, who began working with the Board of Child Care in 1994, have even passed on their legacy of caring for other to their own children. Two of their daughters, Kimmy and Karmen Trina, have become foster parents with BCC and live nearby. They all chip in together to support the TFC youth entrusted in their care — everything from ride-sharing to doctor’s appointments to helping with grocery shopping. It really is a family affair.
‘An awesome challenge’
In all, Sandy says their experience as foster parents is not much different from raising her own children. And that’s what Sandy and Aaron tell other parents considering foster care, especially TFC.
“If you have it in your hearts to help children, then TFC is a good way to go,” Sandy says. “It’s a challenge — an awesome challenge — but at the end of the day, it’s rewarding. It’s all worth it.”
— This feature was originally published in BCC’s 2014 Annual Report