Becoming a Foster Parent

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Children should be given the utmost care and responsibility. It is our responsibility as a society to care for children in need. Fostering is an essential service provided by the state and by caring individuals hired by the state.

Fostering in San Diego is a serious commitment that takes a wealth of time, care, and responsibility, and while agencies can provide information on fostering a child and instruct individuals about how to become a foster parent, it’s up to that individual to decide if he or she is ready to become a foster parent.

Some Basic Requirements
Becoming a foster parent does entail a few requirements.
  • Foster parents must be at least 21 years or older.
  • Housing. The individual should live in a house that meets basic fire, safety, and sanitary standards. In terms of space, potential foster parents should have enough room for a foster child to sleep and enough storage space for his personal items. No one should have to live in a cramped space.
  • Background check. A foster parent must pass a background check and cannot have any drug or alcohol abuse issues.
  • Finances. Although foster parents do receive some form of monetary reimbursement, they should make enough of an income that they can support themselves and their family without the reimbursement money.
  • Training. To become a state-certified foster parent, a person must go through a required training. This training covers various subjects and will help prospective foster parents with any issues that might arise with their foster child.
However, these are all technical, administrative requirements. In other words, even though you pass these requirements, you might not be ready to take on the role of a foster parent.

Love and Commitment
Remember that, although fostering a child is temporary, you should be more than willing to provide as much love and care to that child as possible. You should prepare yourself for any and all difficulties that come your way.
  • Be patient. Fostering a child does not mean he or she will instantly love you. Your foster child may be distant or lash out at you. It takes time to develop trust. Tolerate the major failures and celebrate the tiniest of successes. 
  • Be understanding. Understand that many children put into the foster system come from broken homes where they were either neglected or abused, physically or otherwise. They may be angry, resentful, or incredibly sad and take things out on you.
  • Be loving. Just make sure that you show your foster child that you care. Love is all your child may need.

Saying Goodbye
Foster care is a temporary arrangement, so you will eventually have to say goodbye to your foster child. Just remember that your loving care and commitment may have made an immense impact that will stick with that child for the rest of his or her life.


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