Foster Parenting: What You Should Know
Sun, April 18, 2021

Foster Parenting: What You Should Know

Around the world, millions of children are abandoned by their birth parents. This happens due to unforeseen factors like poverty, health issues, societal problems, and the like / Photo by: Volodymyr Melnyk via 123RF

 

Around the world, millions of children are abandoned by their birth parents. This happens due to unforeseen factors like poverty, health issues, societal problems, and the like. However, in some cases, parents abandon their kids for the sake of survival. As governments try their best to protect and care for these children, the number of abandoned children increases yearly. Sometimes, agencies and social services have trouble providing the basic and necessary care these children need.

Foster care is a readily available service to children whose parents are already deemed not fit to take care of them. Often, there are circumstances wherein a child is left alone by their original parents. This is very different from adoption since foster care means care only for the time being; adoption could be an option only if both the biological and adoptive parents are open to it.

According to the National Foster Parent Association, or NFPA, a group that champions foster care in different places in the United States, what happens in foster care is that children are given a nurturing and safe environment for a certain duration of time. There are different types of foster care, namely:

(*) traditional care

(*) emergency or shelter care

(*) tribal care

(*) medical care

(*) kinship

(*) short-term care

All of these types are meant to give a child the necessary things for him to survive while being in the care of other people aside from direct family members or relatives. It gives people the chance to help make a difference in children’s lives, and also experience the joy of taking care of others. According to an article on the By the Bridge UK page, a website that gives advice and information on fostering in the UK, there is really no requirement when it comes to the marital status, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, or other factors when one decides to become a foster parent. Almost all the time, there will be people from different agencies or groups that will certainly help and guide you so that you act as a foster parent.  

However, one should know that foster care is something that is not easy; it takes a lot of patience and effort. If you are able to open yourself up to other children, and make your home available for them for a certain period, then you can become a foster parent. You might not feel it now, but it is something gratifying to do.

A lot of different communities are also active in foster care. Some schools and hospitals are in contact with certain people to let them know about potential children needing foster care. This might sound like a very good idea for you, but you have to remember that being a foster parent is not for every person in the world. There are certain traits you need to have in order to be one, mostly patience and understanding.

Foster care is a readily available service to children whose parents are already deemed not fit to take care of them / Photo by: belchonock via 123RF

 

Skills Needed

According to the Very Well Family page, a website that provides helpful tips and information on everything about family life, there are certain skill sets that you need to have in order to become a foster parent. These include the following:

(*) Total knowledge of your home and your family

Some restrictions are present when it comes to fostering, but these things will really depend on the area or place you live in. When it comes to foster care, you have to be very patient, and you must know when to say goodbye. Your family should also be open to the idea since every member will be affected by such a decision. It is important to check if foster care is for you and your family.

(*) Good communication

You will be talking to lots of people in order to provide foster care. The list will include teachers, therapists, judges, doctors, social workers, the birth family, and other foster parents. Ready your questions when you have some for them, and ask for advice on what to do when it comes to giving foster care.

(*) Accept challenges

Fostering is very challenging, especially if you are dealing with a child that has already reached adolescence. These children up for fostering are those who may have had bad experiences, so you should prepare to encounter difficult situations when taking care of a child.

(*) Be able to manage behaviors

This does not only mean managing your own behavior; it includes managing everyone’s behavior at home. Your children might not be so open to the idea of your house being a foster home, or some social workers may not be as helpful. Your patience will be tested, so make sure that you can manage people’s behaviors, especially yours and your foster child.

(*) Working with others

Fostering isn’t just the job of one person or household; you will be working with many professionals. It’s important that you are able to communicate properly with them if you are having difficulty and make sure that everything is fine with your foster child.

Some restrictions are present when it comes to fostering, but these things will really depend on the area or place you live in / Photo by: belchonock via 123RF