Becoming Foster Parents-How To Adjust To This New Life

Written by on March 6, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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Foster-ParentsBeing a foster parent takes a special type of individual. You need to make sure that fostering a child is something that you’re prepared for physically, mentally and emotionally. You need to understand that there will be challenges, and even though you need to give these children love and adoration, you also need to remember that they may not be with your family forever. If you’re new to foster parenting, the following information will help you learn how to adjust to your new way of life.

Be respectful.

Foster care is meant to provide children with a loving home until their birth family can get the help they need in order to get their family back. This means that as a foster parent, you are only caring for the child until their birth family is ready and capable to be reunited with the child.

You will be working with a caseworker, and it’s possible that you will also be working with the child’s parents or other family members. Because of this, you need to be respectful to the child and their family and understand that while you are taking care of the child, the child is not yours. Knowing that you are there to help the child become reunited with their family will help you to be the best foster parent you possibly can be.

Educate yourself.

Make sure that you are educated on how to be a foster parent and what is expected of you. You can talk with the foster agency, as they will be able to provide you with information, and they may also be able to point you in the direction of a foster parent support group to help you connect with other foster parents and learn from one another. You can also use one (or all) of the foster parent resource websites that are available.

Educate your family.

If you are married or have other children, it’s very important that you educate everyone else on the foster child. Let your children know that the child is to be treated with respect and just like any other member of the family. Let them know that you’re there to help the child, and make sure that you let children know that the child may not be in your lives forever. It’s very important that the foster child is in a loving environment, and getting all of your family on the same page can help to accomplish this.

Don’t expect perfection.

Your foster child is not going to come into your home and act as if they belong there. It’s very likely that they will be nervous or scared or even upset, and you need to make sure that you’re prepared to handle this.

Make sure that you try and talk with the child as often as possible to let them know that you’re there to help and to listen and that you’re not trying to replace their real family. It’s also important to let them know that you will provide them with respect as long as they do the same in return. Keep trying to warm up to the child and they will eventually warm up to you.

Daniel Kroenke is a writer and family dynamic expert who enjoys analyzing the role of foster parents on the development of children.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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