Six Things to Know about Foster Care
1. One of the best motivations for fostering is to help kids. What is your motivation?
2. Have you talked to your kids about what the commitment to foster means? The big kids and little ones? Having kids you don’t know living with you and having additional demands, will change your family routine. It is important that everyone understands what the changes may be. Some will be difficult adjustments, while others may be very positive.
3. Be patient. It takes time to get certified for foster care. The quicker you complete your requirements, the sooner you will be certified and ready to have an impact on kids and families.
4. What types of kids do you think you could best parent ? Are there certain age groups, genders or other qualities with whom you think you would be a great foster parent? What are your skills? Are there other skills you are willing to learn to extend your fostering abilities to a broader reach of kids?
5. Foster care is a temporary safe place for kids to live while their family addresses safety concerns. Family reunification is usually the primary goal for kids who are in foster care. We encourage foster families to support reunification with the family. Know that you will be attached to the kids and sometimes saying goodbye can be sad for you. Have a plan for dealing with your own grief and loss in this process.
6. Learn about trauma. Being removed from home is ALWAYS trauma for kids. They may behave in ways that reflect that trauma. Kids love their families and want to be home with them. When they enter foster care, they may not be grateful for your care and nurturing. When foster parents and parents interact positively, there are fewer loyalty issues for the children and youth.