Ronald Dorsett, one of our Therapeutic Foster Care Recruiters, has a special connection to his work due to his own lived experience. At a very young age, he entered the foster care system along with his sister. Like many parents, theirs needed time to get to a better a place in their lives before they could take care of Ronald and his sister, but family reunification proved difficult.
After a couple of years in the system, Ronald and his sister were adopted by an older woman who they called “grandmother”, who’s daughter became their “big sister”. Grandmother passed away soon after, and the children ended up back in the system, but luckily their “big sister” stepped up and adopted them.
“There was a lot of growing and adjusting, but I fell in love with the idea of someone else being your parent when you don’t have a biological parent at that time. It led me to appreciate having two families and learning that you don’t have to be blood to be family.”
Ronald’s father was still nearby and always remained in contact. They had opportunities to bond, but unfortunately he passed away just as Ronald headed off to College. When Ronald graduated, he knew he wanted to give back to kids who are in similar situations, helping them though foster care, adoption, grief, and growing up in a poor neighborhood. So, he focused on his education, got a degree in Child and Family Studies, and joined the Village! Today, he is a Therapeutic Home Finder and Recruiter and pours his soul into his work.
In training future foster parents, Ronald’s favorite exercise is “turning your losses into gains”. He talks about how the notion of foster care can be negative, that people can often pity children due to them losing their biological family. But Ronald views it differently and wants to change the stigma surrounding foster care. “I love that I get to handpick foster parents and make sure people are the right fit. Being a foster parent is so life changing – for both the parents and the children – and I don’t take that lightly. It can be an incredible positive.”