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 calls for total commitment towards giving a child a safe and stable temporary home after being removed from their birth parents’ care by the court because of family problems.
If you’ve been planning on becoming foster parent, consider the following to help you determine if you are ready for the responsibility:
Though you don’t have to be rich, financial stability is necessary if you are to provide for the child’s needs. The state and federal governments do provide subsidies to foster parents, but these will not be able to cover all of their costs. Therefore, you cannot entirely rely on this support.
Dealing with Biological Parents
Over half of foster kids reunite with their biological families or main custodians in time after being treated or rehabilitated for a time. Always remember that, and that birth parents and foster parents are to make contact based on guidelines determined by the court. In some cases, frequent visits by birth parents will be required as a path to the children reuniting with their birth parents later on.
The Right Understanding of Foster Kids
People usually think foster children are always extremely damaged and hence a feat to care for. Truth is, a lot of children in foster care are typical kids. But considering that they come problematic homes, proper attention must still be given to potential emotional and behavioral issues they could deal with. Such issues can arise from various factors, such as the age of the child and what they went through in particular.
Having a Solid Network
Taking in a foster child is a lot like living in a glass house. Everyone’s eyes will be on you – from case workers to your own neighbors. You’re going to need a stable outside network for sure. For example, if you want to take in a young child, is there a daycare center close to your home or at least your workplace? If you live alone and are employed, who can care for the child while you’re away or when you get sick? Definitely, this person should be able to come on short notice and pass a criminal background screen.
Lastly, before actually taking a child under your care, make sure you are prepared for their eventual departure when they have to reunite with 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.