Want to open your heart and home to a child in need? Wondering if you’re ready to take on the awesome responsibility of being a foster parent?
You may have considered fostering children, but are not sure how to go about starting the process. Becoming a foster parent is a big commitment, but it is also rewarding and can contribute to strengthening your family. You can even do it with a full-time job!
Here are 10 signs that show you are ready to become a foster parent to foster youth.
Fostering Children – 10 Signs You’re Ready!
#1 You Want to Provide Foster Youth With a Temporary Safe Home
Foster youth are often caught up in poverty, need, or abuse. The foster care system is not easy for them to navigate, and they deserve someone on their side who is concerned about their needs; to give them a safe place so that they can go back home when possible; to help them heal from the trauma of losing their families; to provide them with what they need for food, shelter, and clothes; and ensure they receive a quality education.
If you’re able to provide a stable, loving home, then you’re already halfway there.
#2 You Understand and are Comfortable With the Process
If you are confident that you are in the best position to meet the needs of foster children, then you are likely already well on your way to getting approved to foster. Being a part of fostering means you have to be comfortable with the process first. It is not for the faint of heart, but is an experience unlike any other.
#3 Your Family Completely Support You
Becoming a foster parent is a big deal. It has lifelong implications for you and the foster child, so it pays to have everyone you care about on board with the decision. Getting your family on board early can help make you more confident in the decision to foster, and will also encourage them to play an active role in fostering if they want to.
#4 You Know That Regular Communication is Key
If you are a foster parent, you will need to communicate your needs and wishes clearly. There are specific requirements that may go above and beyond what you are already doing in your regular parenting. It’s important that you are able to effectively communicate with all of the workers assigned to help the child.
#5 You Love to Learn New Skills
Being a foster parent requires an enormous amount of patience, but it also requires a lot of skills that are not always obvious or intuitive. The moment you decide to become a foster parent, you will learn an assortment of skills to help you be the very best foster parent you can be. If you like to learn, fostering children is for you.
#6 Going With the Flow Doesn’t Scare You
When you become a foster parent, you will find that the foster children often cycle through your life in a way that you aren’t used to. Now, going with the flow is one of the most important things you’re going to need to do. From school projects, pick-up times, holidays or even just visiting hours – often changes occur with no notice, and you need to be able to just roll with it.
#7 Flexible Schedules Will Help
Foster youth have so many needs that are going to require your time at some point or another. This can include doctor’s appointments, courts, counselings, visits, and much more. It’s vital that you keep your schedule as flexible as possible, in order for you to support your foster child fully.
#8 You Know That Self-Care is Important & You Practice It Regularly
One of the most important things that a foster parent can do for the child in their care is to care for themselves. Being a foster parent is hard. The emotional and physical tolls are significant–yet despite this, many people feel called (or at least drawn) to become a foster parent because they want to help children in need. Before you can even think about helping others, you must be able to take care of yourself emotionally, financially, and physically.
#9 You Understand That Most Things Must Be Confidential
Becoming a foster parent gives you the opportunity to help kids who are in challenging situations. When fostering children, you’re sure to hear a bunch of stories. However, you must keep in mind that it is THEIR story. Much of what your foster children are going through and their history must be kept confidential. This is vital as it will help your foster child to gain trust in you, and can help build a strong bond between you both.
#10 You Like to Have Fun!
Last but not least, becoming a foster parent is one of the most fulfilling pursuits you will ever be involved in. The good times are sure to outshine the bad. The good days are going to exceed the few bad moments. Believe us, you’ll hear laughter all around the house, music and dancing, and best of all? You’re going to be able to bring joy to a foster child in your care. As a foster parent, you’re going to need to know how to have FUN! Play will be a huge help when it comes to helping foster youth.
After all, let’s face it -laughter is the best medicine.