Six things to master before becoming a Foster Parent-Basics to Being a Foster Parent


The following 6 statements describe the basic knowledge base of successful foster parents. Of course, there is more to being a foster parent, but these 6 points are a great place to start.

Foster Care Skill #1 – Know your home and family.

Before jumping into foster care, most families spend two or three years just thinking about it. Here are a few points to consider before making the final decision on whether or not to do foster care.

Foster Care Skill #2 – Know how to communicate.

You will be communicating with many different people as a foster parent. This list may include:

  • birth family
  • teachers and other school officials
  • therapists
  • social workers and other agency staff
  • judges and other court personnel, like a GAL or a CASA worker
  • other foster parents
  • your family and friends, who may just not understand your role as a foster parent.
  • the child

Foster Care Skill #3 – Know that working with foster children and the foster care system can be challenging.

The children in foster care have often endured extreme abuse and neglect. A child’s way of communicating is often through behaviors. The foster care system is also often a new entity for many foster parents.

Foster Care Skill #4 – Know how to successfully manage behaviors of challenging children.

Due to the past abuse and neglect, corporal punishment is not allowed to be used on children in foster care. If the discipline method causes physical discomfort, it is not OK. For example: going without a meal, withholding bathroom breaks, push-ups, or standing in the corner on tip-toes.

Foster Care Skill #5 – Know how to manage a child’s losses as well as your own.

Many times a child’s grief and loss (grieving the loss of their home and family as well as the past abuse) can trigger responses in foster parents.

Foster Care Skill #6 – Know how to work with others.

As a foster parent, you will be working with many different professionals. This really goes along with communication, but there is more to being a good team member.


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