Foster care is the system that aids minors whose home situation is not conducive to the safety and welfare of the child or teen. Foster care is usually a short term solution for the minor while a permanent placement can be made, which may be back with their family, with a relative, or possibly into adoption beyond relatives.
The care and living arrangements of foster children is usually handled by a government or social-service agency. Initially, the minor is often placed in an institution or group home, although a private home of a state-certified caregiver (a.k.a. foster parent) is usually sought as the better solution until a permanent arrangement can be made. While foster parenting is not a way to make money, the state usually provides the foster parents a stipend to cover the expenses they may incur.
Calling all potential for foster parents!
For these children, their psychological and emotional needs are often dire, since they frequently come from a family in crisis who is less able to care for the physical and mental health of their children. In spite of this great need for adult nurturing in their lives, FosterCareMonth.org states that more than 26,000 children (mostly at age 18) end up leaving the foster care system each year without ever acquiring a lifelong family. These young adults enter the world without the nurturing family experiences that prepare them to do well on their own.
If this tugs on your heart strings, then perhaps it’s time to consider becoming a foster parent. Your parental love and influence while they are minors can make a lifetime of betterment throughout their lives.
What could disqualify me from being a foster parent?
Qualifying for foster parenting usually involves the following:
- Your state will want to be sure you want to help children. Many of their questions and analysis start here.
- You must have adequate time and living quarters to accommodate a foster child. A background check, foster care home inspection, and a personal foster parenting interview will determine this.
How do I get started in foster care?
To locate foster parent information in your state, download and review the Contact Information for Foster Care Inquiries guide, published by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connection.
How to get involved in National Foster Care Month
And everyone can help spread the word among their friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers about the often urgent needs of the nearly 400 thousand children under age 18 in the foster care system. To make a difference this very month, download the Foster Care Month toolkit supplies, including brochures, posters, promotional graphics, and other digital materials.
You may have heard that there has been a decrease in the total number of children in foster care in recent years, likely due to an upswing in foster care advocates and support groups in. However, remember the statistics shown above; clearly much more foster care help is needed. This month, consider investigating becoming a foster parent, or encourage foster parenting to others who may be well-suited for this.