Meet Executive Director, Janine Porter
Janine Porter has owned and operated Georgia Hope, Inc. formally Georgia Youth Network, Inc.since April 1998 to the present. She taught Mathematics (her other passion) in the public school system for 5 years. Ms. Porter has a Masters in Mathematics Education and is working on her MBA. Ms. Porter has successfully owned, with her family, and operated the Computer Camp (summer education camp program) in Freeport NY from 1986 through 1997.
The family business and camp program has since expanded and is still running successfully in NY along with a residential shelter, the Sunshine Residence.
Ms. Porter now lives in Conyers, GA with her 7 children. Ms. Porter is the foster parent of one child, the adoptive parent of two children, the guardian of one college student and birth parent of three children. Ms. Porter is the legal guardian of one adult child .
Why Did I Foster? Written By: Janine Porter, MA, Entrepreneur, Mother, Foster Parent, Teacher
Over the years so many people have asked me, why did I decide to foster and why so many children? I received comments like, “I couldn’t do that”, “What about your own children?”, “What about your quality of life?”
My response has always been the same. I shrug my shoulders and say “why not? I have the means to provide for another child, why wouldn’t I? Every child needs a home and every child needs a family and positive experiences”.
Let’s take a look at this a little closer. Quality of life? My Quality of life is my choice. It is my choice to not only raise my children but to raise the children of others the best I know how with love, unselfishness, and compassion. Raising children to know what life feels like having a responsible, loving parent in their lives. I enjoy the life I have created for myself and my family.
What about your children? You are exposing your children to “foster children”. As a mother, I was careful of the children I decided to work with and raise in my home, with my family and we talked. My children were free to voice their opinions, respectfully about the children living in our home. My children whether birth, foster or adoptive, always had what they needed, never went hungry, felt loved and cared for in a structured environment just as much as any other child but most of all had a family and a home.
Let’s clarify, a “foster child” is a child who just happens to be a child that is in the foster care system by no fault of their own. A child that has experienced trauma in some form or fashion and sometimes in ways we could never imagine or even want to imagine. Yes, some children have come into care because of their behavior and their parents can no longer handle them but think…how did they get that way… no structure, no discipline, everything the child did that was inappropriate while growing up that was dysfunctional and disrespectful, was their normal… and you blame the child?
Well, it does not pay enough…neither does the job you work in now but by choice or necessity, you still deal with it, daily with your boss or supervisor, your co-workers and the demands...come home tired, over worked and under paid. Foster care has never been an issue of money because I kept an income AND you cannot pay me what I am worth to care for a child.
For all of you who have chosen to foster for all the right reasons, you are giving family, you are giving love, you are giving hope, you are giving a child a chance…you are giving LIFE.
Whether you are the mushy, mushy loving type or the parent that runs a tight ship of tough love… that child will inevitably grow up and remember your home and you. It may not be until their 30 (smile), but they will grow up appreciating what you have done and the seeds you have sewn into their lives.
Let your experience with EVERY child be a memorable one, a positive one, leave a seed with every child that will grow and flourish into a flower. Now, in my 10+ years of fostering, every child in my home has not been my cup of tea but even when they had to leave, I left them with words that would encourage them not tear them down. Words where they can understand that it may have not been the best match with us but there are other parents that can work with them to give them what they need right now.
Give the gift of family today!