Taking a child under your foster care can be one of the most loving and worthwhile things you can do in your life, but it’s hardly easy. Not that it should be. It requires full commitment to providing a safe and stable temporary home for children who have been removed from the care of their birth parents by the court due to family issues.
If you’ve been planning on becoming foster parent, consider the following to help you determine if you are ready for the responsibility:
While you need not be rich, it is important to be financially stable so you can provide for all the needs of the child. Foster parents receive subsidies from the government (federal and state levels), but some costs will not be covered. Hence, you cannot totally depend on this aid.
Dealing with Birth Parents
Once treatment or rehabilitation is done, more than half of foster children go back to their birth families or primary custodians. Keep that in mind all the time, as well as the fact that communication between birth and foster parents will be the court’s discretion. There are cases in which birth parents are required by the court to visit their children frequently as a path towards a future reunion.
Correct Perception of Foster Children
One wrong notion about foster children is that they’re so flawed and therefore difficult to parent. In reality, children in foster care could be no different from kids in less troubled families. However, since they come from unstable homes, their potential emotional and behavioral problems should still be given the right attention. Such issues can arise from various factors, such as the age of the child and what they went through in particular.
Having a Help Network
Foster parents often have the feeling of living in a glass house. Everyone’s eyes will be on you – from case workers to your own neighbors. You will definitely need a stable external network. So if you’re interested in foster-parenting a young kid, for instance, is there a daycare center within the vicinity of your home or your office? If you live alone and are employed, who can care for the child while you’re away or when you get sick? Of course, this should be someone who can be available on short notice and has passed a criminal background check.
Finally, before you decide to become a foster parent, prepare yourself for the child’s eventual return to their family. Should the court decide against such a reunion, hopefully, you can be the first candidate for the child’s adoption if you want to. Either way, kids need to leave foster care at a certain point, and there is a possibility that you will not hear from that child or know their whereabouts.