What you must do before getting started with fostering
STOP! Read before you begin!
What you need to do before getting started with fostering:
1) Write out your WHY: Meaning, figure out why you are actually doing this. Your intentions need to be clear as this will dictate who you accept into your home. You will also be asked this 1000 times by friends, families, and strangers. So a clear and concise answer is always helpful. Here's mine: "I want to help children, and I'm good at advocating."
2) Research agencies: Agencies can be incredibly helpful in continuing training, offering support groups, and can give you a sense of community. But DO YOUR RESEARCH. Some discriminate for religious reasons or sexual preferences. Check the #linkinbio for some recent news about this!
3) Attend an info session: I recommend going to one to get your feet wet. It will open your eyes to what foster parenting is and will be an initial gut-check to see if this is right for you. I recommend interviewing up to 3 agencies to see which is the best fit.
4) Talk to your family AND your employer! Family and friend support is critical when you are a foster parent. If you have family who is concerned about you becoming a foster parent, you need to mitigate this first. Negativity is the last thing you need when you are foster parenting, and THINK OF THE CHILD. You do not want to introduce the child to people in your life that have negative views on foster care, foster youth, and reunification.
AND! Don't forget to tell your work! There are an extensive amount of meetings and appointments during the first month and ongoing with visits and therapies. Flexibility is NECESSARY. For example, social workers are usually working 8-5pm and they need to see the child at least once a month. So how will you accommodate that visit at your home with your work schedule?
5) After you've completed the above, time to revisit your why. Why are you really doing this? Is your heart in the right place? Do you support reunification and biological families?
Feel free to reach out if you can't decide if foster parenting is right for you! I am here to help. 💛