What Makes Someone a Great Foster Parent?
The choice to become a foster parent is an important one, deserving of serious consideration. Obviously there are many legal qualifications, but the less tangible elements, while not usually as heavily discussed, are equally deserving of reflection. And while the legal requirements vary from one state to another, consistency can definitely be found when it comes to qualities that make for an excellent foster parent.
Qualities of an Excellent Foster Parent
- Honesty. During the application process, the social workers assessing you will need to know everything about your life. Between background checks, interviews, a thorough review of your driving record and more, remaining honest and open about every aspect of your life is important.
- Strong support system. Being a foster parent is incredibly rewarding, but there will be challenges along the way. When you're feeling taxed mentally, emotionally or physically, encouragement and support can make all the difference in the world. Building a community with other foster parents is important as well, as they know firsthand what you're experiencing, and can provide valuable guidance.
- Patience. A good quality for parents in general, patience is paramount when it comes to fostering. Once a child is placed with you, it will take time to build a bond and achieve some normalcy. Remaining patient as you navigate these changes together is an absolute necessity.
- Willingness to learn. Being a good foster parent means meeting the child where they are, rather than ask them to fit neatly into your life. As you prepare yourself and your home for placement, set aside time to learn more about the possible needs foster youth can have, and how to best navigate them. You don't need to be an expert, but remaining receptive to learning more about their individual needs will have positive benefits for everyone.
*For more information about the requirements of becoming a foster parent, please get in touch with us.