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10 Things to Know About Being a Foster Parent  

For those considering opening their home to foster children, there are 10 things to know about being a foster parent.

Being a Foster Parent Requires Adequate Time

Individuals who are interested in becoming foster parents should be sure that their schedules will allow them enough time to spend with their foster children. People who have long work hours and busy social calendars may not have enough time to care for a foster child.

Being a Foster Parent Requires Patience

It is important for foster parents to be patient with the foster child. Many foster children have some sort of disability or have experienced past abuse which may make patience even more of a prerequisite.

Compassion is Key

Compassion is important because foster children have usually experienced a lot of turmoil in their lives. Many foster children are simply looking for someone to love and care for them in the proper manner.

Foster Care Payments are for the Child’s Room/Board and Care

The money which the state is paying the parents is to pay for the child’s room/board and everyday care. Some families may be tempted to bring in foster children when they have trouble paying their own bills. This is unacceptable and most social services agencies will not allow this to occur. Most social agencies require that the income level of the family is sufficient to cover the general everyday expenses.

Many Foster Children Suffer from Disabilities or Past Abuse

Many of the foster children placed with social services have been physically and/or mentally abused. Many foster children also have disabilities. Foster parents must realize that they are being entrusted with children who have suffered in the past and need extra kindness and caring in their new home.

Getting Acquainted Takes Time

The child will not enter the home on Day 1 and be ready to share all of their past history and secrets by Day 2. Getting acquainted takes time and patience.

Be Sure to Be Available to the Foster Child

Most foster children are interested in having a foster parent who is readily available to tend to their needs and always on hand to listen to them. Giving the foster child adequate attention will make a world of difference in the relationship.

Many Foster Children Need a Boost in Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is a trait which many foster children lack. Whether it is due solely to how their birth parents treated them or whether it was something that came about later on in life, self-confidence is a hard thing for many foster children to find. It is up to the foster parents to boost the self-confidence level of the child which in turn will help them to develop and get along nicely in their new foster home environment.

Many Foster Children Have Been to Prior Foster Homes or Social Service Homes

Foster parents should be aware that for many foster children, the new home is not the first foster home or social service care facility which they have seen. Many foster children have been in several homes and may therefore have become immune to the process. If a foster child has been in several different homes, it may take longer for the foster parents to break down the exterior shell of the foster child and get them to relax in their new surroundings. This will take time, patience and caring on the part of the foster parents.

Foster Parents May Be Able to Adopt Their Foster Children

In most states, foster parents are able to adopt the foster children whom they care for in their home. This will all depend on the legal rights of the birthparents and whether or not they will allow the adoption to take place.

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