What to Expect Upon Becoming a Foster Parent
The goal of foster care
Before becoming a foster parent, you will need to understand the goal of foster care services. Many people assume that the purpose of foster care is to take children into a safer home and eventually adopt them. However, the actual goal of foster care is to temporarily provide children with a safe, loving, and nurturing home while their biological parents work to improve the conditions that brought their kids into foster care. The goal is reunification.
Expect to go through a licensure process
To ensure safety for kids and make sure foster parents are fully educated and equipped before receiving any placements, all foster parents must receive licensure and our staff here at Children’s Home is happy to help you through that process! After receiving licensure, you can expect to receive a phone call at any time of the day, though it might not happen immediately. Once the call comes, it is up to you to accept or decline the placement based. If you don’t think fostering will work in that instance (for any number of reasons), we won’t hold it against you.
Expect a few difficulties when transitioning a child into your home
Kids in the foster care system have most likely been exposed to trauma and uncertainty. It’s important to understand there will be a transitional period where the child may have behavioral or emotional outbursts — not because they are a “bad kid,” but because they have experienced trauma. Trauma heavily impacts a child’s behavior and if you need help addressing any behaviors, you can contact our foster care team directly. You may also realize that a child may not know how to perform tasks that we might consider typical. For example, a child may come from a home where they never used silverware to eat a meal, so they might not know how to use it properly. This is an opportunity for you to work with this child to educate them in a nurturing way that helps them understand these tasks.
As a CHAIL foster parent, expect support at every step
Being a foster parent can be challenging at times, but we’re here to help! Our foster parents have a caseworker that can provide connections to additional resources, access to our staff nurse and psychiatrist to provide medications as needed to stabilize any behaviors, an education liaison to advocate and support their schooling, and on-call staff for any emergency situations that occur after business hours.
Expect your life to change
Cheesy, we know, but it’s true. Giving children a home that is safe and parenting that is nurturing and full of love, is powerful. We can’t thank our current foster parents enough for all that they do to support our kids.