Children and teens who are in foster care are just like other kids. They go to school, they have friends and participate in extracurricular activities, they play sports or read books, and they live right here in our community. The difference is that they’ve experienced a negative family situation, trauma, abuse, or neglect, which makes living at home unsafe—at least for the time being. While we work with parents to resolve issues and overcome challenges, with the goal of reuniting them with their kids, the children need a safe, stable, and temporary place to live.
What children need in a foster parent
1. Understand their needs
When you choose to foster a child, you should be prepared to deal with trauma, sensitivities and developmental needs. Understanding, compassion and patience are core virtues that are necessary when becoming a child’s caregiver.
2. Protect and nurture
Be a caregiver, a mentor, an understanding ear and a supportive role model. Be involved in their life and put forth the same unconditional effort you would if he or she were your biological child.
3. Support family relationships
As a foster parent, you’ll not only care for the child in your home, but you’ll encourage the child to maintain a positive relationship with his or her parents, in hopes that the family will be reunified once the case plan goals have been met.
4. Promote lifetime relationships
As a role model, and one who will leave a lasting impression, you’ll connect children to safe, nurturing relationships such as mentors, teachers, coaches, friends and extended family.
5. Be a part of a professional team
When you become a foster parent, you join a network of families and professionals who provide support, encouragement and advice. You’ll also connect and network with the FSS team, including a licensing counselor, case manager, therapists and more.