Many people tell us that caring for children is something they may have thought about for a while. Maybe you know someone who wants to foster a child or was a foster parent? Maybe you got the idea from TV or an ad in a newspaper? Maybe you saw an online post? Maybe you just think it sounds like there is something fun to do?
If this sounds like you and you are starting to consider fostering a child seriously, hopefully, we can provide some reasons why it could change your life for the better.
Reasons differ from person to person, and in our years of experience, we have found that foster parents often cite certain common reasons:
I care about the children and want to help them
Children and adolescents in foster care have been abused, neglected, abandoned, and have faced serious challenges. Raising children who are not yours is a powerful way to raise the heads of children and teenagers, and to show them there is hope in their future.
I am a kind and loving parent but can be strong when needed
While a lot of love is a good thing to provide, parents who want to foster a child and are raising children who are not theirs should have good parenting and communication skills. Patience, consistency and adherence to expectations and rules are all important.
I think I did well as a parent and I know how to work with children
I would like to use my skills to help other children. When you foster a child, having a parenting experience helps. This can provide a basis for parenting an adopted child who might have experienced trauma, abuse or separation. Every child is unique, and a good parent is able to learn from his or her own experiences and to deal with the individual needs of each child.
I had no children
As a foster parent, I can share my home and give my time and attention to the right purpose. The children do not have a textbook. Being open to learning parenting skills with the guidance and support of experienced legal practitioners will provide a person with the tools to be an effective parent.
As an adoptive parent, I realize that my job is to make this child feel comfortable and welcome in my home
I know that one day a baby can walk and it’s okay. The primary goal of a foster child is to feel safe in a warm, caring environment that is able to care for its physical needs. As these basic needs are met, the child is able to develop attachment and love. They will learn how to communicate their wants and needs using appropriate words and actions. Finally, the child shows good self-confidence, makes connections with others and develops future goals. When a child leaves home, even after a few months or a few years, saying good-bye has never been easier. Some adoptive parents feel comforted knowing that the family was a successful family and that you were involved in it. Some families hope that their involvement with the child will sow the seeds that will grow and grow inside the child, producing wonderful results in the years to come.
I feel the need to reciprocate and want to share my experience, time, and luck with the baby.
A person may have their own challenges in life – the loss of a parent, coping with the addition of a family member, or abuse. A strong person has the power and support to overcome these situations and wants to use that knowledge to help others. Some people may have never experienced such hardship and felt grateful. A person may also feel inadequate (either traditionally or religiously) and want to help those in need.
I don’t feel like I’m done being a parent
The strength, joy, and happiness of children can be contagious. As an adult, it can be fun to spend a day outside the park or read to a child a favorite book for the fiftieth time. Grandparents value the time they spend with their grandchildren, partly because they feel informed. Children can have a special, relaxed relationship with their grandparents where they feel free to share deep feelings and thoughts.
Raising children who are not yours can be the most challenging task you have ever had, but it can also be very rewarding. If you want to foster a child, hopefully, you have found some more positive reasons to do so that outweigh the scary thoughts in your head. It will be a life-changing experience for you and the child, and if you have the right mindset, it can help you to develop as a person for the better.