Photolisting: Now is the perfect time to raise foster and adoption awareness. If you have your own blog or website, perhaps you would like to add our Photo Listing Widget to help raise awareness of foster children nationwide.
Would you like to help more children from your agency get adopted faster? Click here for a form to add children to our photolisting. This service is FREE to all states and includes a team of technical support and customer service staff to maintain the Photolisting.
Don't see any children from your state? Please contact your local officials to let them know you would like to see children from your state.
Blogging: Interested in Blogging? We're currently looking for volunteer bloggers for the following categories: Foster Adoption and Foster Care. This may be the perfect time to voice your adoption experiences and share with our community.
Foster parenting is a great way to help children in need, fill your home with joy, and progress down the foster adoption road. No matter your reason for considering foster parenting, there is a process you'll have to go through before you can ever have a foster child set foot in your home. But don't despair. Many foster parents before you have completed the process and now enjoy playing a part in many children's lives. The road to becoming a foster parent may seem tedious or overwhelming, but it's worth it in the end. So, if you're wondering what it takes to become a foster parent, this list will give you some idea as to what you can expect from this process.
As you go through the foster parenting process, you may be surprised to find out that many of the steps are the same for those going through the adoption process.
Contact a Foster Care Agency - The first step of the process is to make sure you're ready to pursue this course. Once you've made that final decision, you need to contact a foster care agency to officially begin the process.
Training and Your Application - After you've contacted a foster care agency, you'll then be asked to fill out an official application. While your application is being processed, you'll also be asked to attend some training meetings. This is to make sure you're still interested and for foster care professionals to evaluate you.
A Foster Home Study - After your initial application is processed, you'll then be scheduled for a home study. It is this step on which you'll meet the caseworker assigned to your application. The caseworker will come to your home and meet with you. They will also look into your finances, background, and history. This is to make sure the children placed with you will be safe and cared for appropriately.
Waiting for Approval - Once you've completed the home study and your caseworker has no more questions for you, they will perform a background check. You don't have to do anything else at this point, except wait, which can be the hardest part of all.
Your First Foster Placement - If you're approved, a child will be placed in your home. Congratulations! You're a foster parent!
Most of the stress of becoming a foster parent will be the waiting and maybe even filling out all the paperwork. The questions may seem intrusive, but it's really there to protect the foster children, as that is the first priority. If you're not sure if foster parenting is right for you, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. It's not for everyone. It takes a specific type of person to be a successful foster parent. Some of those traits include patience, the ability to forgive quickly, kindness and being able to reprimand when it's necessary, and the understanding that many of these foster children may have behavioral issues because of their tragic life experiences. But, as a foster parent, you can be a positive influence in their lives, and that is one of the biggest joys of foster parenting.
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"I was in foster care for five years, which would put me at the age of 8. I got put in foster care because my mother was an alcoholic and my dad was abusive. When I left my foster home, I was adopted by two nice people. They were nice until my adoptive dad raped me, and now I am back in foster care with a different family and everthing is great. I am glad I can feel like I am in a real family!" - Juleah
"I began my journey as a foster parent in February 2012. This has been something that I have wanted to do for a while and I decided in January of 2012 that I was going to cross this off my bucket list. I have a friend that referred me to my private company and I began my classes twice a week for 6-8 weeks. After I finished my classes, I began to get my room ready. I raised two boys and decided that I wanted to foster girls because I never had a daughter. I am 43 and a lot of my friends asked, "Are you crazy? Your kids are grown!!" I said no. I look at this as my chance to have a daughter and I am going for it. I created a beautiful yellow, white, and purple room with butterflys on the walls and stocked the closets full of clothes of all different sizes. I set myself up for siblings with a toddler bed and a twin bed, but I also will do respite care for boys and pregnant teen moms.
"As a widow of three years, I look at this as my chance to have laughter in my home again. I am a single parent by choice, not by circumstance. My licence should be here in early November and I will begin my adventure. When asked what I look forward to in fostering, I look forward to cooking with them, taking them on new adventures, doing their hair. But mostly I look forward to helping the little people know that it will be OK and it's OK for them to be a kid because I am the adult and I am here to love them unconditionally and make it all better." - Wanda
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.