The word becoming denotes a striving towards some goal, a growth process. Concerning fostering, you may be in the beginning stages of the process (completing the initial interest paperwork) or somewhere in between (learning and growing as a foster parent). In any case, whether you are a new foster parent or have been fostering for some time, here are some tips on proactively becoming a great foster parent.
As a foster parent, you will care for children who may require special services like therapy. At first, they may be behind schedule with their regular checkups. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you are connecting the children with all the services they need.
If the child you are caring for is in school, it is essential to have good communication with the child’s teachers and other staff at the school. Further, the child may not have had a concerned adult making inquiry into school matters in the past. You will want to let the school know that you are interested in the child’s education and helping him/her to succeed.
As a stranger, and depending on the age of the child, it may take some time for you to build rapport. Don’t get discouraged. In fact, one of the best things you can do is to be a good listener. Allow the child to tell you about his/her day, friends, things he/she finds important. If the child is not yet talking age, take care to spend quality time with him/her.
If the child is already involved in activities like sports or gymnastics, try to continue their participation to facilitate continuity. However, if the child is not engaged in any activities, find out what he/she is interested in and look for efforts that can enhance their being.
Although you may have parented your own biological children, continue to educate yourself about issues that may be specific to foster youth.
Foster parenting can be hard work. Take advantage of avenues of support for yourself as a parent, whether family and/or foster resource groups. They can be invaluable sources of assistance and information.
Learn More About Becoming a Great Foster Parent
Becoming a great foster parent is a journey that requires practice, an open mind, and care. Thus, if you are interested in starting or just learning more about this journey, please contact us.