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Episode 152: Acknowledging a Child’s Unique Life Journey (w/ Jillana Goble)

By August 1, 2022January 3rd, 2023Podcast

Foster care rarely looks the way you expect it to, even in the “best” of circumstances. My guest today has been in the foster care community both as a foster parent and as an advocate. Caring for a child with secondary trauma has caused Jillana Goble to change her definition of “normal” and recognize the deep importance of walking alongside a child on their unique life journey. Jillana is a speaker, author, advocate, and parent whose greatest passion is to encourage other families that are loving children from hard places. Her honesty and insight was so valuable; this truly is an episode you don’t want to miss!


1. The reality in foster care will likely be different than you expected.

We often begin our foster care journey with an expectation of what it will be like to work with children from hard places. The reality is that it won’t always look the way you expect it to. We may have an expectation that the input is going to equal the output, but when it comes to trauma that equation doesn’t work. It’s okay if there are some things you cannot handle or are not equipped for, and it’s always okay to ask for help.

“There is a difference between taking notes about trauma and experiencing the lived reality of what that looks like.”

2. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

You can’t do it all. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, caseworker, or respite helper. We need to let go of the idea that we need to do everything in order to meet some false standard we’ve set for ourselves. In order to be a good mom, you may need to hire someone to babysit while you do laundry or plan your meals for you! That’s okay! The things you are doing are hard and it’s okay to get help in order to be the parent you need to be.

“I’ve had to learn to have more of a moment-by-moment awareness and appreciate things that would have blown past me before.”

3. Learn the signs of secondary trauma.

Children in foster care go through a lot. You need to keep your eyes and ears open as you begin to care for them. Read, watch, and learn what to look for to spot secondary trauma. You will be the person who spends the most time with a child in your care so you may spot things that were previously missed. We can serve children from hard places best when we can advocate on their behalf for what they truly need.

“If the interpretation of the situation is going to guide our intervention, we need to have the right lens.”


We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Jillana Goble is a speaker, author, advocate, and foster parent. She has a master’s degree in teaching but her passion is to work with and encourage families that are loving children from hard places. Jillana’s passion led her to found an unprecedented initiative, Every Child Oregon, that mobilizes communities to uplift children and families impacted by foster care. Together with her husband, Luke, she parents five children ranging in age from pre-teen to young adult. Jillana’s desire is that everyone would join together to help the overburdened child welfare system, the vulnerable children in foster care, and those who serve them.


Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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