What You Need to Know About Being a First Time Foster Parent
Are you thinking about fostering, but don’t know where to start? Being a first-time foster parent is often like walking while blindfolded. You have an idea of where you’re going, but you don’t know where you will end up. For the first-time foster parent, here are some things you need to know.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
If you’re starting your foster care journey, something you need to figure out is who your people are. Meeting other foster parents or at least people with the same mindset as you is important. Join Facebook groups and head to local foster care group meetings.
Ask a lot of questions
You won’t survive being a first-time foster parent without asking questions. Ask questions to learn as much as you need to. Keep in mind you will ask questions during your licensing and you’ll ask questions during your first placement, it’s just a way of life.
Things won’t always go your way
In life, we want things to go a certain way for us. However, the foster care world doesn’t go that way. The system works in a certain way and you can’t expect it to go any differently. If you’re new to fostering, know what things won’t always go your way!
Know your boundaries
While you may be a foster parent at the mercy of everyone else, it’s okay to set up boundaries. You do get to pick what age foster children you want. You get to pick what gender you want. It doesn’t make you a bad person for knowing your boundaries and what age group or even gender you’d like. It may seem weird at first, but you have to do what is best for your family.
There are lots of rules
Something you should be aware of when it comes to fostering is there are a lot of rules. These rules may seem crazy or mundane, but they are there for a reason. If you have a question about a rule, a caseworker is only a phone call away. In the defense of these kids, there has to be rules there to protect them.
Kids need you
Rules and regulations aside, all new foster parents should know that the kids need you. There is a crisis in this nation and foster parents can help meet that crisis. In the USA alone, there are close to 400,000 children in foster care. That doesn’t even count those across the world.
Do you have any tips for the first time foster parent?