Wanting to open your heart and door to foster children is indeed an admirable gesture. Each year, thousands of children are put into state custody who need caring families with safe and stable homes for them to quickly transition into. Many children arrive at their new foster homes after being abruptly removed from the only home life and family they have known. Therefore, effective foster parents need special training and certain skills to help these children through such a traumatic time.
Family/Friends Support Check
Do a self-evaluation before making the final decision to bring foster children into your home. Do you have the patience, time, and support needed to make a smooth transition for the child? Consider the fact that not all family and friends may be on your decision. Know your support team and who you can call upon for assistance.
State Laws Check
Know your state laws that pertain to foster parents. Each state has its own set of rules, you must do your research to ensure your family and home are eligible. It is important to always stay in compliance with your state’s rules and regulations.
Mental Health Check
Receiving foster children into your home as well as having to release them back into the custody of the state can be emotional. There is no doubt, that during the time that a foster child is in your care for an extended time, emotional ties will be made. You want the child to be able to talk and come to you with any problems they might be experiencing. What are your plans and how will you cope when it is time for the child to leave? At any given time a biological parent can be deemed able of providing a more stable home. Many children who are put into foster care may at some point return home to their biological parents.
Communication Skills Check
Know your role as a foster parent. Expect to have quite a busy lifestyle with doctor appointments, teacher/parent conversations, social workers, therapists, and other state workers for the child/children. You must cooperate and work as the advocate for the child. However, you shouldn’t worry because there are numerous resources to help walk you through the foster parenting process.
Visit your health care professional for a complete physical and mental wellness health check. Before embarking on a huge responsibility, visit and talk with your doctors about any areas of health concerns. A healthy body and mind will help you perform and function at your best. To find out more about becoming an effective foster parent, contact us.