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How to Be a Great Foster Parent

Tens of thousands of kids need foster homes right now, but the sad thing is that there are not enough foster care homes and families available for all of them. Because of this, a lot more people are opening up to the idea of becoming foster parents. While it can be fulfilling and rewarding for you as well as life-changing for the child, fostering comes with several challenges. So, we have put together some key considerations and skills that will help you be a great foster parent.

Prepare Yourself and Your Family

Fostering means adding a new child or children to your home. Your home already has a natural flow and order for how things are. Adding a foster child to the home is likely to disrupt what you have going on because it will be a new dynamic. To prepare yourself, learn how the foster care system works. You can learn more about what becoming a foster parent entails and what will happen as you become one.

Next, you need to talk to your family. Talk to your spouse or partner to see if they are open to the idea. If you have kids, talk to them too so they can understand what is going to happen. Lastly, talk to your larger family because your loved ones are likely to be involved with your foster child’s life, and you want them to be on board before that happens.

Communicate Better

Communication is a crucial part of being a parent, but things are slightly different in the case of foster children. You will need to communicate with them at their level and with their backgrounds and past situations in mind. For example, shouting at kids who have previously been in an abusive home can be triggering.

Second, you will need to be in close contact with a lot of people. These can include therapists, teachers, lawyers, their birth family and even court officials. You might also need to talk to other foster parents when you need support or insight into what being a foster parent entails.

Better communication will not only help you bond better and easier with your foster children, but it will also make you a better advocate in cases where they need one.

Learn How to Manage Your Foster Children

Your foster children might have challenging pasts, and so you might need to adjust how you treat children generally. Foster kids need patience and special care so you might have to sacrifice some of your qualities for them.

Additionally, you have to start thinking differently about discipline. Discipline might mean abuse to them since that is what they may have experienced in the past, so you might need to think about new ways of disciplining them in your home. Any discipline measures that cause physical or emotional discomfort are highly frowned upon.

Being a foster parent and being a good parent in general go hand in hand. Being one makes it easier to bond with your foster kids, create lasting memories, and ensure everyone has a great foster care experience.

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