5 Things You Should Know About Fostering
Together We Rise has interviewed hundreds of foster parents about their foster care journeys. While everyone has different reasons, there are still many misconceptions about fostering. So here is our list of the top 5 things you should know about fostering.
1. Support Networks are Important
Becoming a foster parent is a labor of love. People who do this want to help children and support their community. Having a strong support system is critical for the wellbeing of the children and the foster family.
Not all foster families look the same but it is nice to a network with other foster families that understand the process first hand.
2. Foster Parents are in it for the Money
This is a HUGE misconception about the foster care community. The support for foster children varies dramatically from state to state and county to county. While most offer a small stipend, that money is to help with food costs, clothing, and other essentials. Most families are familiar with the cost of raising a child and these stipends are helpful but often only cover a fraction.
We need to stop promoting this narrative, foster parents are in it to help children. Period.
3. Biological Families are NOT Villains
We all need to open our hearts to the biological families of children in care. Even if there is abuse, not every member of this family is abusing children. They should be met with kindness.
The goal of foster care is reunification.
4. Training is Different than Reality
Even the best foster licensing programs in the country can not prepare you for everything. It is not that you are a failure, or that the training was bad. The truth is life is complicated. There is no source that can prepare you fully for helping a child in care. Every child is different, every circumstance is different.
5. Approach Fostering with Patience, Kindness, and Love
Remember to be kind and patient. The love you want to give your foster may not always be accepted immediately. Things take time and patience. So, remember that you are doing good work that matters.
In conclusion, for those foster parents out there, we see you working hard every single day. Foster parents are special people who believe that every child deserves love and a soft place to land.
If you are interested in fostering, check out more great resources HERE.