“Being a foster parent makes my heart sing,” shares Natalia Schroder. “I feel that it is my calling in life.” Natalia and her family are a Catholic Charities Hawai‘i Therapeutic Foster Family in the Nā ‘Ohana Pūlama Program. She and her husband have been foster parents for about a year and half.
With three children of their own, the Schroders work tirelessly to build relationships and create positive experiences with their children and the youth that they foster. Each youth that they foster becomes a member of their family. Despite the flurry of family activities, they still take the time to hold weekly family meetings to provide open communication and an opportunity for everyone to have a voice in the family.
“Our impact is not just in that moment,” Natalia remarks, “it takes time to help the youth get back to solid ground to walk on. As we work to help them achieve their goals, seeing the progress that they make is amazing.”
One of the youths they fostered managed to improve in school so much that he moved up two grade levels in just a matter of months.
Another of the youths expressed how happy it made him to see that Natalia and her husband could talk to each other because he came from a home where his parents would always argue loudly. It warmed their hearts when he started to call the Schroder children his brothers and sister.
The Schroders truly embrace being a foster family and want to continue to do so for many years to come.
All kids need and deserve someone to take care of them. Foster parents provide a safe place for youth who need a safe place to live and grow. If you are interested in becoming a Nā ‘Ohana Pūlama foster family, contact our O‘ahu Intake Coordinator at (808) 527-4941 or our Hawai‘i Island Intake Coordinator at (808) 961-7010.