Becoming a foster parent is an excellent way to provide for the children in your care. You will be providing the child with love and attention while you work to help them transition from their life as a newborn, through their toddler years, school years and finally into adulthood. Being a foster parent can be a very rewarding experience filled with wonderful times and heartbreaking heartaches as well. Being chosen to become a foster child is one of the most humbling positions there is because you will become responsible for caring for a child who does not know or trust you.
Becoming a foster parent is similar to adopting a child, except that foster parents are not considered adopters. Instead, foster parents simply take on the responsibility of helping children that do not have permanent home or parents. Usually foster parents get compensated for board and room costs of foster kids. There are a few steps involved in becoming a foster parent; however the following are the main ones:
First, meet as many people as possible in your area who are also foster parents in some capacity. Second, make a list of people that you would like to attend your informational meeting, because that will be your “mentor” in the process of becoming a foster parent. Third, make plans to spend at least one day a week working with a potential client at the local shelter. Fourth, keep a written record of everything you learn at these meetings, so that you will remember what you learn and remember what you did not learn. This will be crucial in your becoming a foster parent experience. Fifth, take formal training courses related to effective, foster parenting and child care.
The requirements to become foster parents are minimal in most cases. It is important to have a genuine interest and commitment to helping children in need. To achieve this, pre-service training in child safety standards and child abuse is recommended. Foster parents are expected to adhere to these safety standards throughout their employment. Foster parents must also adhere to the minimum requirements of pre-service training for parents, which requires completion of a four-year degree from an accredited university or college and two years of supervised experience in foster parenting.
Becoming a foster parent is not without challenges, however. It can be emotionally draining and difficult to maintain a loving and committed relationship with children in the foster care system. foster families must work together as a team to resolve conflicts and work to ensure the safety and well being of each child in the care of the state or county that the family is assigned to. A majority of foster parents come from broken homes and/or traumatic childhoods; therefore, they may not possess all the necessary tools to effectively care for children in foster care.
There are a number of support groups that foster parents can look into when considering the options of becoming a foster parent. These support groups can provide foster parents with the necessary information and encouragement to help them make this transition as smoothly as possible. One such group is American Friends of the Decay and Help Rescue, an international organization that aims to aid children and families who are experiencing child abuse and neglect. Another group is the National Catholic Committee on Child Sexual Abuse, an organization that advocates for victims of child sexual abuse. Other support groups are the Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Children’s Charity, an international charity that strives to help those who suffer from physical or emotional pain caused by child abuse.