How to Decide if Fostering is Right for Me
Fostering a child or teen can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. You will get to help someone grow, while they are provided with the home, love and family they need.
You can take a part in assisting a young person to find their way, ensuring a safe and nurturing home that will help them in making positive choices in life.
But fostering is not a good fit for everyone. How do you know if fostering is right for you?
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Fostering
Am I Compassionate?
This may seem like a simple question, but a lack of compassion can be extremely damaging to the relationship between a foster child and foster parent. You may or may not have experienced similar traumas that foster children have experienced, but all traumas are not alike nor are they experienced with the same intensity or outcomes. It is through compassion that the foster parent can acknowledge that children have unique experiences and that it takes patient, understanding and nurturance to help a child succeed.
It is important to remain compassionate and open to their feelings, fostering both a child and an environment of understanding and trust.
Am I Good at Communicating?
When becoming a foster parent, you invite a child who is a stranger to your home and who sees you as a stranger. Learning how to communicate is essential in ensuring that both you and the child understand each other.
Making sure that your foster child feels like they can talk to you and express their feelings can be one of the most beneficial tools in fostering a child. If you and your foster child feel as if you can talk things out, then problems are solved quickly and painlessly and love and trust continues to build.
How Do I Resolve Conflicts?
Conflict resolution is a great skill to have for anyone, especially someone with kids. However, it becomes even more important for a foster parent. Often coming from negative environments or situations, foster children need to have positive conflict resolution or they may shut down and not be as responsive to your parenting or solutions.
It is important to consider each individual foster child’s life experiences and adjust your response to reflect that. Traumas, stressors and other factors could mean that, instead of resulting in positive change, your response makes things worse for your foster child. Positive conflict resolution is key and should be a focus.
Am I Adaptable?
Speaking of adjustments, perhaps the most important quality a foster parent can have is that they are adaptable and ready to pivot to new ideas and methods depending on their foster child’s needs.
You are accepting this person into your home and providing love and warmth in addition to a roof over their head. Things may happen that you don’t expect, and you must be willing to change the way you think and work with your foster child to provide an environment of understanding.
Am I Being Honest with Myself?
Everyone wants to feel like they embody every positive quality. It’s natural to think that you are a great person without any flaws – however, everyone has flaws, even you!
It is extremely important to be honest with yourself when asking these questions and determining if you are ready to become a foster parent. You do not have to be perfect to foster a child, but you have to be willing to think outside the box and possibly change the way you think in order to provide a loving home for a foster child.
Make a Difference – Become a Foster Parent!
If you are interested in fostering, please reach out to First Home Care, today. We are more than happy to assist you with beginning the process, walking you through the requirements and steps to become a foster parent and then, hopefully, matching you with a foster child.