Becoming a foster parent is a rewarding experience.
There are so many vulnerable children in need of a safe and loving home. Becoming a foster parent can make a real difference in a child’s life.
If you are wondering what to expect when fostering a child, then our guide of tips for new foster parents covers everything you need to know.
What to Expect When Fostering a Child
With so many children needing foster homes, becoming a foster parent is a truly selfless act that comes with challenges and rewards.
In order to be a successful foster parent, you need to master skills that will help you prepare yourself, your family, and your home for the journey ahead.
You will be speaking with many people (birth parents, teachers, therapists, social workers, etc) as a foster parent, and it is vital that you can communicate clearly and effectively.
Strength & Compassion
If your foster child comes from a difficult background, then you need to be prepared for all kinds of behavior. Additionally, your foster child might be dealing with grief. Every child will deal with this differently, so your compassion skills need to be mastered.
Be prepared to work with several professionals when fostering. These are people who will help you to support the child, so being open to collaboration is vital.
To help you prepare for fostering a child for the first time, here are our essential tips for fostering a child.
Research and Train
Before you consider how to become a foster parent, it is important that you undertake research and training. Fostering has a plethora of benefits, both for the child and for you, but it is vital that you understand what you will be undertaking, and how you can prepare.
Prepare Your Home and Family
Before you bring a foster child into your home, you need to prepare your home and family. If you have other children, ensure that they understand what is happening, and be open to their feelings and questions. Fill your kitchen with food and snacks that kids love, and make sure the child’s room has fresh, clean bedding, towels, toiletries, and clothes.
When bringing your foster child home for the first time, be sure to introduce everyone in the home – including pets. This will help them integrate into their new environment, making them feel included.
Show Them Around
Imagine how scary it must be for a child to enter a new home, with a new family, for the first time. You can help ease that fear by showing them around their new home. Give them a tour of the house, letting them know they are welcome to everything. It is especially important to show them their room, the bathroom, and the kitchen.
Give Them Comfort
No matter how old your foster child is, they need to know and feel comfort from you. This is especially important on their first day. Make sure you do whatever you can to give them a sense of comfort.
Support the Birth Parent
Although the most important aspect of fostering is to give a child in need a safe home, it is also vital to consider the child’s birth parents. They might also be in a vulnerable position and could benefit hugely from your support.
Partnering with a birth parent can provide that vital link between parent and child. You can communicate openly, ensuring both parent and child feel included. Let the birth parents know how their child is, what they are getting up to, and how they are settling in.
Become a Foster Parent
Now you know what to expect when fostering a child, you can take the time to consider if fostering is for you. There are so many foster parent benefits, that it is something you will want to do again and again.
For more helpful articles on parenting, health, and lifestyle, check out some of the other posts on the blog.