Being a Foster Parent
Could being a foster parent be right for you?
That is only a question that you can answer. However, if you’ve ever considered becoming a foster parent, just in Northern Missouri alone, there are over 90 foster children living in shelters due to insufficient foster homes in the area.
It is sad to know that there are that many children living outside of a home environment and all of the privileges that a “home” encompasses. Having a parent who makes sure that you receive an education. Living with less people. Not having to stand in a line to get your meals or to go to the bathroom. Having your own clothes. A dresser. Having someone to advocate for your health care. And hopefully, someone who will love and care for you. Isn’t that what every mother wants for her children?
Granted, being a foster parent is not for everyone and that is fine. Not everyone has enough time or energy to take on another child. Not everyone wants to be a parent. Some people don’t feel that they can love a child that is not their own. Others know that they would love the child too much and are not able to keeping an open mind about working with the biological parents or seeing the child return home. The sadness of the child leaving and the fear of what the child’s life will be like out of their control. Those are totally valid and acceptable reasons for not being a foster parent. However, you can still find a way to help.
What foster parents and children need most.
- Don’t equate foster parents with baby sitters. Foster parents are real parents. They aren’t in it for the money. Granted, it helps to get a little money to off-set the cost of raising children, but it doesn’t cover a fraction of what children cost to raise.
- Support the family.
- Non-judgmental feels about the children, foster parents, and the biological family.
- Donations to adopt a families. Especially for those in shelters.
- Community activities for children in foster care and their families.
- Donations to the shelters that foster children live in.
- Assistance with community/religious respite events.
- Recognition that foster parents live in a stressful situation filled with judicial red tape and uncertainty.
- Don’t talk about the child’s situation in front of them unless the foster parents say it is okay. Not all children understand what is going on in their lives.
- Support the connection between the child and the foster parents.
- Offer to baby sit.
- Offer to go to court with a single foster parent, because court dates are horrible.
- Although you might not understand their situation, offer a shoulder to lean on.
- Don’t assume that if a child returns home that the foster family is sad or happy. Let them express how they feel, if they feel it is appropriate to share.
- Not all biological families are unsalvageable.
- Don’t assume that the child doesn’t miss their biological family.
- It is us that is blessed, not the kids.
Thank you for allowing me to get on my foster parent soap box! My kids might drive me crazy at times, but I love them to the moon and back. I’m blessed to have them in my world. My family is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
What can ;you do to help a foster parent?
Check out my Free Mini Course on Empowering Mothers – Reclaim Yourself!
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