Have you decided to become a Foster parent? You have applied to the agency, filled forms and submitted all the required documents. But is this enough?
Go through these tips that will help you get through your journey of fostering.
Read And Take Advice
Parenting books, blogs or testimonials, read whatever you can about fostering. There is never anything as too much preparation. You must know the challenges you will be facing while fostering a child who is in need. Ask the experts, listen to other foster parents and seek their valuable advice.
Get Ready To Be Judged By Others
It’s a known fact that not everyone likes fostering. So not everyone in your neighborhood or family would understand what you are going through. Prepare yourself to hear unnecessary comments that may put you in a dilemma. You can try educating your friends and family regarding this matter. But remember that this decision of yours is an amazing and selfless way to do your bit for society.
Join Other Foster Parents Group Or Network
This is something that you will need all throughout your fostering journey. Your friends and family may not have any experience regarding the challenges faced while fostering. So connecting with other foster parents is the only way to discuss your problems and gain insights from their experiences; both good and bad ones.
Have A Support Group Behind You
Once you get the hang of foster parenting, include your near and dear ones into it. Ask them to babysit when you are busy with work or running a few errands. Don’t be shy to take advice from the professionals and caseworkers, who could help you navigate through the foster parenting journey easily.
Be Ready To Adjust Your Work Schedules
Once you have decided to become a foster carer, then be prepared to compromise your work commitments. From court hearings to counseling sessions, appointments to meetings, there would a lot of things going on in your life. So you must inform your employer about the same and let them understand your new responsibilities. You can work part-time or find approved childcare that accepts foster children.
Prepare Your House
Set up a separate bedroom with simple décor. Keep sharp, breakable or fragile objects away from your house for a while to keep these kids safe. Other things that you can buy before they come are a few clothes of various sizes of both genders, toothbrushes, medications, toys, games, films, books, etc. Once your foster child arrives, you can take him/her shopping and select the kind of stuff that interests them.
In order to become a licensed foster parent, it is important to get trained. This training will help you understand the effects of drastic situations on a child’s mind and the things you can do to help them cope up and find emotional stability. The training will also equip you to help the kid face the world when your foster child moves out to his/her permanent home.
Get Emotionally Prepared
You must be mentally prepared to face any situation that arises during your fostering journey. These foster kids might have gone through a traumatic phase of his/her life. Coming from such a difficult background, there could be a violent outburst of emotions and sentiments at times. Be prepared to embrace such situations and give them the time to settle down. Find a way that exhibits compassion and connection and helps them heal their mental trauma.
You must also understand that fostering is temporary and the child will leave you to reunite with his/her family.
Building Relationship With The Child
You must understand that your foster child may not be as excited as you are to welcome him to your home. The first few days would be awkward and new to both of you. But try to break the ice by showing interest in their activities and achievement, playing their favorite game or simply by having a friendly conversation
Every Placement Will Be A Different Experience For You
Each child has unique needs. Be it physical or emotional. Your fostering experience with each child will be different. So each placement will teach you more and help you in honing your adaptability skills. Your main goal should be to provide a safe and secure environment filled up love and affection to your foster child.