If you’re considering becoming foster parents, it’s always important to not only check in with yourself, but also your entire household. Being a foster parent is most rewarding when you count the cost, create a healthy home environment, and make the necessary preparation to give your foster child the best life possible.
We understand the importance of passion and practicality joining together for a successful fostering experience. Below, we’ve listed out 6 questions you should ask before becoming foster parents. If you have any further questions or need professional advice, feel free to contact us today. We are here to help you be successful.
1. Why Are We Doing This?
Raising foster children comes with unique needs and requirements that we advise all potential foster families to consider. Fostering can be a very rewarding experience that can significant amount of energy, finances, resources, time, and support from friends and family. Therefore, it’s always best to sit down and discuss why you want to foster and making sure everyone is on board to join in the family effort to have a hand in the fostering experience.
Not all fostering experiences will have an outcome of adoption, in fact, the majority of fostering cases is in the hopes that the child will be reunited with their family. If adoption is your only goal through fostering, you may want to consider a different option.
2. What Support System Do We Have in Place?
This question is double-sided. The support system isn’t just the support system you are ready to provide your foster child but also the support system that you have in your own community. No question is too ridiculous to ask when it comes to making sure you know who you should contact in case of an emergency, educational support, training for difficult emotional situations, and more.
Are you prepared to invest your time and emotional support to the child? In addition, what type of support system do you have in place for your core family? Are you prepared to support each other and look out for the needs of your spouse or biological children as you bring a new member of the family into your household? Make sure you have a secure financial, emotional, social, and family support system in place before becoming foster parents.
3. Have We Considered the Costs?
When it comes to fostering, it will be a costly endeavour. That’s not to say that it is a negative costly endeavour but the reality that it will be costly through different areas of your life is important to recognize. The financial cost of adding a child to your home; emotional cost of supporting them and their experiences they bring; time cost of adjusting your current life to accommodate a new schedule and needs; these are all important costs to consider when making the decision to foster a child.
It is essential to understand that you will experience both beautiful moments and moments of heartbreak, disappointment, or possibly even frustration and anger. Therefore, you must be realistic about what it will cost you to foster a child, and if you are ready.
4. How Will This Change Our Family / Marriage?
Regardless of your family size, when fostering there is always going to be an adjustment. When it comes to your children, make sure that everyone is ready. The experiences that your biological children will have will be very different to how fostering can affect your marriage.
Make sure to keep open communication as a priority and that everyone knows their feelings are valid and being heard throughout the entire process. Each person may have a different adjustment to the new setup when fostering, and the emotions and feelings for everyone may not match up exactly and that’s ok.
5. When is the Right Time to Do This?
Fostering a child is like getting married, having children, or going on that dream vacation. There is no perfect time to do it. Life will always get in the way. On the other hand, there is no reason to go into fostering with complete abandon. In the end, you will have to choose a time that is right for you and then prepare your household for when that time comes.
Think about where you are in your life right now. What is your work schedule like? How busy are you with your family? What are your finances like? What is your home environment like? Are there any serious issues going on in your family that you need to address before you bring someone else into the home? The best way to create the right time is to schedule, plan, resolve issues, and give yourself time to prepare before becoming foster parents.
6. What is the First Step?
Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to become a foster parent, the first step is to contact your state’s adoption or fostering agency in your hometown. Choose an agency that you are comfortable working with. Set up a consultation, ask questions, discuss your concerns, and start the procedure.
The agency can help you set up a timeline, prepare your home, and go through the procedure.
Contact Rise Today to Find Out More About Foster Care
At Rise, our goal is to make fostering as simple as possible. We can provide you with the tools you need on your path to becoming a foster parent. For more information about our services, contact us today.