Some parents at some time in their life, for whatever reason, are unable to continue to take care of their children properly. When this happens the state has the right to remove them from your home and place them until you are able to take care of them properly again. When kids are taken out of the home they may be placed in foster care, or if there are no foster parents available, they may be placed in an orphanage. Of course the best possible situation for these kids is to be placed in foster care.
When I was a young kid we had a foster child all the time. When one left we usually got another. They were always girls because I was the only girl and had three brothers. God knew we really did not need any more boys (at least in my opinion). These kids were like sisters to me and the one I was closest to I knew even after she became an adult and moved out of the house.
She died a little while back from a brain tumor, but we were friends until the day she died. In my book she was just as great as a biological sister and I would suggest to parents that the joy foster kids can bring to you and your family is beyond bounds.
What I learned from this was that not only is foster parenting good for these kids but also for the family that takes them in. Although my “sisters’” biological parents never came to see them, or called or basically did anything, they would not let my mom and dad adopt them even though they wanted to. I thought this was very sad for these kids. They lived with us until they were adults and able to live on their own. This is not always what happens though. About 70% of kids that are in foster care return to their original family. If they do not get returned to their family, relatives have priority when it comes to adopting them.
This makes it difficult for everyone involved in that if you take a foster child in and they become part of your family, it is difficult to have to return them their original family. It is also very difficult for these kids being bounced back and forth. This is why it takes a special set of parents to become foster parents.
Have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent? Many are not aware of what foster parenting is or how to go about it. The steps to become a foster parent are pretty much the same for that of adopting.
Decide to Foster Care: Anyone who is physically and financially healthy can become a foster parent. If you think you are interested in this do your research and find out what is involved. Decide if this is for you. There are tons of websites, books, etc. to find out more about it.
Contact your Local or State Agency: Get in touch with the agency in your state that is responsible for this and talk to them and get the application. Talk to someone to find out more about the process and what is involved.
PS-MAPP or Pride: Most states require one of these 30 hour training courses over a 10 week period to be successfully completed before you can take in a foster child. When you contact your local agency ask them where you can take this and when.
Background Checks/Fingerprinting: Your local agency that you have contacted will do this while you are doing other things like the course. Make sure they have all the information they need to successfully finish this stage. You should be honest when they ask for this information because if they find out if you’re lying you will be disqualified. They are looking for any criminal charges especially against children and if you have any recent DWI’s.
Complete Licensing Forms: Make sure you complete the forms for licensing from whatever agency you have chosen to go through. We used Catholic Charities.
Home Inspection: Your home will be inspected to make sure that it is safe and that it is up to code. The agency will give you a list of what they are looking for. Their concern is with safety and they will be looking for thinks like ponds that may be near the home, pools, and other such hazards. Railings must be available on all stairways and there must be a smoke alarm as well as a CO2 detector. Medications and firearms will need to be locked up. Some agencies may require a fence; ask you agency what the policy is.
Wait for the day: Once you have completed the above process and they find a child in need of foster care that they think will do at your home, they will contact you. Enjoy this child and love them and the returns will be ten-fold. Good luck.