Are you considering becoming a foster parent? Great! Foster parents come from all backgrounds and walks of life but have one thing in common: we want to create a sense of safety and belonging for children in our communities. Read on for eleven reasons to consider fostering a child!
You had an idyllic childhood.
You had a great childhood spent learning from patient, caring parents that the world is a safe place. Fantastic! You can help provide the experience of a loving family for children in care.
You didn’t have an idyllic childhood.
You had a difficult (even traumatic) childhood and had to overcome lots of obstacles to become an emotionally healthy adult. What a role model you will be for the children in your care! And what empathy you will have for them and their experiences.
You have lots of experience raising kids.
You’ve raised lots of kids (or maybe just a few) and now they’re adults (or teenagers, or still kids). You’re secure in your role as a parent. You know all about child development and have connections with local playgroups and pediatricians. Your wisdom and connections will be a great fit for fostering.
You have no experience raising kids.
This parenting thing is all new to you. Don’t worry. You will learn as you go (be sure to lean on other foster parents for advice, support and connection!). And you’ll be able to devote all your parenting time and energy to the children in your home.
You’re a stay-at-home parent.
In my area, there are a surprising number of infants coming into care and often they are hard to place because they are too young to be in daycare. A stay-at-home parent is ideal for this type of foster placement (and great for toddlers and older kids too!).
You have a full-time job.
You have a job and it’s not particularly flexible. No worries. Many children in care are school-aged and there are usually resources available to cover at least some of the costs of before and after school care. And you’re modeling the value of hard work, responsibility, and following through on your commitments.
You own a home.
You own a condo/townhome/house and have an extra bed (or more!). You’re rooted in the community and have no plans to move. You can provide stability and security for the children in your care.
Your rent your home.
You’re renting and aren’t ready or able to commit to buying a home. Not a problem. Most foster agencies are happy to license parents in rental properties (and—bonus! —you can move on to a bigger home with more bedrooms without having to sell!).
Married couples make great foster parents. You can divide and conquer with things like court hearings, visitation, and appointments.
Single people make great foster parents too. Public agencies can’t discriminate based on your marital status and some social workers look to place certain children in single-parent homes because of their particular experiences.
But, of course, the number one reason to foster a child is this:
There are kids, right now, in your community who need a safe place to stay.
And you can help! Take the next step. Talk to foster parents in your community. Make a call. Send an e-mail. Attend an informational meeting. It might just change your life!