tips for transitioning into child care

Are You Wanting To Be Foster Parents?

Are you wanting to be foster parents in the hopes that eventually you will be able to adopt a baby or a child? Perhaps you aren't focused on actual adoption, but your hearts are big enough to welcome a child who needs a home, security, and an abundance of love. In fact, you might already even have children, but you still want to open your home to children who need to be fostered in a safe environment. From doing a thorough self-evaluation to attending training for being foster parents, here are some ideas that might help you.

A Frank Self Evaluation - If you have been foster parents in the past, you already more than likely know that there will probably be challenges, maybe even big ones. Ask yourself some questions to see if you are ready emotionally to be a foster parent. For example, when you have the opportunity to be present when your foster child or your foster children have meetings with their birth parents, can you be objective? Can you act in a non-judgmental way toward those who you might even believe shouldn't be parents in the first place? What about your temper? Can you control it when the foster child acts out and pushes limits? For example, how will you handle bed wetting when you are exhausted in the middle of the night? How will you react when you don't agree with case workers and others who are part of the foster child's or the foster children's upbringing? And, just as important, will you be able to say goodbye if you don't get to adopt the child or the children? 

Foster Care Training - Once you have gone over every detail that will be involved in being foster parents and once you have made the decision to go forward with the plan to be foster parents, you will of course need to be trained to receive those who will be placed in your care. Be ready for a very involved process. For example, the program in your area might require that you provide character references. An evaluation of your home will also more than likely be done, just to make sure that your home is a safe place. You'll probably need to provide proof that you are healthy enough to care for a foster child. It might even be that you will be asked to disclose financial information. You may receive compensation for being foster parents, and the children will more than likely receive medical insurance. Just be ready to go through a very thorough process. If you have been foster parents in another state, the laws in your new state might be totally different. You might also be asked to go through a foster care training process or to meet with a counselor with or without the foster child or the foster children.