Being a foster parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It has its ups and downs and its challenges but at the end of the day you can feel good about providing a good home and safe environment for a child until the child either returns home to a biological relative or is adopted either by your family or another loving family.
As you begin to consider whether you want to begin the journey of becoming a Foster parent to one or more of the many children that come into care each year here are a few things you need to add to your decision making process:
1.If you are becoming foster parents with the idea that you will foster only babies you need to discuss with your county as to how often babies come into care. The odds are pretty good that babies coming into care will either go home with a relative placement or eventually to their biological parents.
2.If you are becoming foster parents as a way to make money, do not proceed in becoming foster parents. The amount of money you receive for taking care of a child in your home is small compared to what you will probably spend in caring for the child.
3.If you are married both people must be willing to be active foster parents. One person can not do it alone. You will begin to resent each other if you do not do this as a team.
4.Be prepared to loose some of your friends. Do not expect for all your friends to accept your decision to take someone else’s child into your home.
5.Be prepared to loose more of your friends once you begin fostering. You may find that those supportive friends are not as supportive when you have an emotionally fragile child in your care and you can not do the same activities you did before you had foster children.
6.Be prepared to change your daily routines. If you are very structured and not willing to change your routines fostering is not for you. Supper time may be a new adventure for a foster family each and every night.
7.Make sure you can take time off from your job when you need to. Fostering children means transporting to doctors visits, court appointments, and family visits.
8.Be prepared to work with the biological family and relatives. The goal of fostering is to keep children safe, but to also help reunite families. If you feel that you will have a difficult time working with the biological families you do not need to foster. You need to look into the adoptive only process.
9.If you think that loving a child is the only thing you need to do to make things better for a child, you do not need to foster. Child that have been neglected need much, much more that just love.
10.If you think you will have a difficult time letting children leave your home , you do not need to be foster parents. You will get attached to the children and you will definitely go through a grieving process when children leave your home; especially if they have been with you over a year.
There are may other things that you should include in your decision making process about fostering but this list should give you a good idea of the types of items you need to be considering.
Good foster parents are needed in every state, so I encourage you to make a difference in a child’s life!