There are hundreds of thousands of kids each year in the American foster care system. Kids of any age may find themselves part of the system due to having incarcerated parents, death of family, abuse, and other unfortunate circumstances. These kids need good homes to go to, temporarily or long-term. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a foster parent. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, here are three things to ask yourself to gauge your commitment and readiness:
How is your personal mental health?
Caring for kids that are taken away from their biological families and deal with trauma is a huge undertaking. As a foster parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with a home that provides them safety and stability. Before you sign up for these duties, it is critical to take a look at your own mental health. You need to take care of yourself to create the capacity to care for others. Learning to care for yourself will allow you to learn to share the emotional tools you have with a foster child who really needs guidance!
How will the rest of your household adapt to new additions?
If you are married or have your own children, are your family members on board with your intentions? Opening your home to foster children can be a huge adjustment for everyone in the home. There are a lot of emotions involved with taking in new children and having to part ways with others. Foster care can be an emotional roller coaster, and all the really big decisions for the children are in the hands of the state. Educate your children about the foster care system and make sure to create an environment that helps everyone feel safe to share their emotions. If your family is open to the foster care experience, it can be an uplifting, heart-changing experience for everyone.
What are your expectations?
What do you expect to get out of your experience as a foster parent? Are you at a point in your life that you feel you have the time and desire to be a mentor and caregiver to children that need it? Foster care can be emotionally draining, scary, wonderful, and rewarding at the same time. Potential foster parents should recognize that this title is such an important one and have an open heart to the children they take in.
Making the choice to become a foster parent is a huge decision. You can learn how to become a great foster parent if you begin with the right intentions and have the heart. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a foster parent, look for local resources to start the process today!Share