If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent, you might assume that you are up for the challenge. Foster care agencies will screen your background and your home to make sure that you can provide a safe, stable environment for a foster child. Beyond that, here are four things that you can build on in order to be a better foster parent.
1. Your Knowledge Base
Foster care agencies will have classes and literature to get you started on the path to being a good foster parent. Further education can also help ensure that you are ready for the demands of helping a possibly emotionally scarred child, or child who may act out. Child psychology courses, parenting courses, and early education courses can all help you gain perspective and get you ready for challenges.
2. Your Patience For Rough Days
Even the best foster families are going to go through rough patches. Don't beat yourself up if an argument doesn't resolve well or you feel as if you didn't handle a situation right. Make sure to record and report behavior issues and incidents. You can provide this information to social workers and the foster care agency so this can be documented and in the child's file.
3. Your Support Network
Foster children may report to therapy, but having support as a foster parent is important as well. You need to stay motivated and in the best emotional space for your foster child. Foster parenting support groups can be sought out, as well as therapy for you and your family. Bring your child to family events and have them be involved in your extended family's activities as well, so they have a sense of belonging and community.
4. Your Communication And Teamwork Skills
As a foster parent, you will be the voice for your foster child's needs. This will be in tandem with foster care services, but you needing to work with schools, social workers and medical professionals will be routine. You must be able to explain your child's situation and make sure that they are receiving the best care possible. Their background must be understood by professionals that are there to help.
Foster care can be tremendously rewarding and beneficial for both a foster child as well as foster families. Foster care services can help with placement and overall needs, but there will be situations that arise when foster parents must have the right skillset. Be the best foster parent you can be by readying yourself for the ups and downs of foster parenting. For more information, contact a service like Braley & Thompson Inc.