If you’ve decided to become a foster parent and help support the struggling foster care system, we would like to thank you for your service.
Being a foster parent could change your life and that of the people you’ll be helping for generations to come.
With that being said, you should know that foster parenting is a very important responsibility and one like none other, so you have to know what it’s like to be a foster parent before you start.
You will also have to ask yourself very important questions to tell if this is the right path for you. Let’s take a look at some important questions you’ll need to answer before becoming a foster parent.
What Are My True Motivations?
You first have to assess why you want to become a foster parent in the first place. You should be doing it to help first and foremost, not to fill a void or for the money.
There’s nothing wrong with being compensated for the hard work you’ll be doing but it can’t be the sole or main motivation.
Only when you are clear and honest about your true intentions can you start looking at foster parenting seriously.
Which Type of Agency Should I Pick?
Another thing you’ll have to ask yourself is which type of agency you’re going to go for. You can either go for a private fostering UK agency or a local authority.
While both options have their pros and cons, private agencies are usually a better option for new foster parents.
This is because they usually have more resources and will often go much further in helping foster parents.
Some private agencies will be willing to offer emergency services like picking a child up from school if the foster parents can’t, for instance.
Private agencies will also make sure that your home doesn’t stay empty for long and will often work with very specific types of children, which could allow you to narrow down your choices if you wanted to help children with special needs or other types of disorders.
How Many Children Can I Handle?
Fostering a child is one option, but you should know that the foster system is also in great need of people who can take groups of children, so you could see if you have the capacity to take more than one.
This, again, would do a great service to the foster care system and could entitle you to more benefits.
And you might love having more than one child at once, especially if you have an empty home, so at least consider the idea.
How is it Going to Affect My Current Family Dynamic?
You also have to ask yourself how fostering children will affect your marriage and family if you have children. Make sure that you sit down with everybody and get their thoughts on the idea.
If any of the children have apprehensions, hear them out. If you’re a couple, make sure that both of you are on the same page and have strategized on how responsibilities will be shared.
These questions will help you find out if foster parenting is truly the choice for you.
It can be one of the best decisions you ever make, but only if you can be a responsible parent, so take the time to look at foster parenting from as many angles as possible and be 100% that you’re ready before you decide to apply to become one.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!