Every day I see posts from multiple agencies that there is an urgent need for foster parents. I know that locally they are posting on their facebook pages as well as in community groups because the need is so strong. If you have EVER felt the call to help or even if you are hoping to one day adopt, this is an excellent way to get involved in an extremely rewarding(and sometimes stressful) journey. I will be the first to tell you that foster care is not all sunshine and rainbows, there are plenty of rollercoasters, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. While adoption is not the main goal of foster care it is often an end result. With that being said, you will need to come to terms with the fact that you WILL have children leave your home. Sometimes they will be reunified with parents, other times they will go to family or in the worst case scenario you may need to put in notice to have them placed in another foster home if their needs are more than you can offer. After my first little one left, I quickly came to terms with the fact that if one of my kiddos left that there was another one that needed me more. Such was the case with my two oldest. My daughter was 19 pounds at 21 months and we came to discover that she had only been fed baby food that was given to my son thru WIC. He would drink the formula and she would eat the baby food. In just a short amount of time, I was able to get some weight on her. Initially they thought she was “failure to thrive” but we quickly found out that was not the case. Just seeing the color come into her cheeks over those first few weeks was enough to prove to me that she did in fact “need me more”. That realization was how I came to terms with the fact that children would be leaving from time to time.
Did you know that in foster care, you are discriminated against if you are not a “perfect family” with a husband, wife, pets, and 2.1 kids? Most foster care agencies allow foster parents to be renters, single or LGBTQ+ . When I first started out, I had no idea that I could foster while I was single. I thought that I had to have a husband and live in my own home. It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me about her friend who was a foster parent mentor that I found out that you could foster if you were single and were renting. As long as you make enough money to support yourself and your family, you can pass a background check and you live in a safe home, you will most likely fit the requirements.
So, if you are ready to get started, simply google “foster care (your city, state)” and find the community based care(CBC) organization in your area. Once you find the CBC you will need to undergo a background check, take some classes, find suitable locking storage for meds and chemicals and have a home study completed before you are approved. It takes about 4 months from start to finish and many CBC’s are offering online classes due to Covid.
Good luck to you! If you decide to foster, please let us know how your journey goes.