The decision to be a foster parent is one of the noblest, and also one of the most challenging, decisions you can make. Not only does it require a great commitment, but great conviction as well. Foster parenting is not always for couples. Even single individuals can take in foster children. Regardless, here are a few things you should definitely be aware of if you are planning to take the plunge:
You Need to Be Well Trained
Before becoming foster parents, you must be prepared to objectively go through the training programme that the agency requires of you. It will not only help you to understand the physical and the emotional needs of the child but will also help you decide whether you are really ready for this. It should also be kept in mind that as a foster parent, you will have a great responsibility. Being a foster parent is not just about overcoming your loneliness of being single or getting a respite from infertility issues.
You Should Be Willing to Work Together
Being a foster parent is not an easy task, and you should know that you are not solely responsible for the child. You have to be willing to work alongside the welfare staff, counsellors and teachers. Sometimes even their birth parents may be asked to visit often, and in such cases, you should be able to handle the situation properly. If you are single, you should have someone reliable person by your side, to take care of the child, in case you are sick or have to go away for a while.
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Know the Needs of The Children
It should be kept in mind that foster children are not always going to be perfect. Most of the time they tend to come from abusive and unstable homes. Owing to this, they might have some behavioural and psychological problems. But even with all this, the foster parents need to be supportive and loving, to help them grow better.
Assess Your Finances
This is an important factor to keep in mind, if you wish to be foster parents. Do you have the finances to take care of the needs of the child? Though foster parents get reimbursements, they may not be as expected and may fall short. So, you should be financially strong to provide efficiently for the various needs of the child.
You Should Be Able to Let Go
It should be remembered that foster parents might have to let go of their children, at some point of time. You may develop immense affection and establish a great bond with them, taking care of their needs and working for their progress. But you may find it hard to let go, if the time comes for them to reunite with their birth parents or move to another foster home. You have to be prepared for this. In case the court decides against giving the rights of the child to his birth parents, you might have an opportunity for adoption, but this is not always the case.
Being a foster parent can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences you can ever have. It will enable you to touch the life of a child, and has the potential to transform both of your lives forever.
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