- Foster Care
- July 13, 2023
Foster care can sometimes be misunderstood when we don’t have all the information at hand. This can lead to misconceptions that may hinder children from being placed in environments that can help them grow and develop emotionally and physically. It’s essential to have accurate information about foster care to ensure that children are placed in the best possible environments for their well-being. Let It Be Us does this by offering webinars, podcasts, one-on-one coaching, and mentoring.
As a foster parent myself for 18 years, I want to address some apprehensions I have heard about becoming a foster parent.
There seem to be many people who think only heterosexual married couples with children can be foster families. Foster families can be single parents or single people, same-sex couples, older families, empty-nesters, families with or without children, and married or cohabiting couples. To become a foster family, individuals must meet specific requirements, such as passing background checks, meeting age requirements, providing references, having adequate space and resources, and fulfilling other criteria set by the licensing agency.
Many people think that children in foster care are difficult to love or parent because of their behavior or what they might have been through. Some children have often experienced difficult situations and need support to overcome them. One of the best things you can do for a child in foster care is to be a great role model. As a foster family, your role is to provide support, understanding, love, parenting, and stability, along with the support of your agency. The goal is to help these children become the best version of themselves. Foster care agencies offer education and resources to assist you in this vital task.
Knowing that you have a say in which child or children are placed in your home is essential. Your comfort and willingness to accept a placement are as crucial as the child’s. The placement caseworker aims to find the best match for the child and the foster family. If you need clarification on a potential placement, ask any questions you may have. Your licensing agency will continue to contact you with future opportunities even if you say no to a placement. Remember, it’s always better to say no if you don’t feel the child would be a good fit for your household at the initial call rather than call the caseworker later to disrupt the placement and have the child moved.
What happens when you get attached to the child (or children) you have welcomed into your home and life? Developing affection and love for the child you are fostering is natural. Fostering is a beautiful opportunity to provide the child with stability, understanding, consistency, and guidance, which can help them heal and learn to trust again. Teaching children to trust their parents and other important people in their lives is crucial. Your care and support can significantly impact their development and lead them toward becoming happy and confident adults. It’s one of the best things you can do for a child!
If you are considering becoming a licensed foster family, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As a member of Let It Be Us, my role is to assist you in every step of your journey toward becoming a foster parent.
About Let It Be Us
Let It Be Us is an Illinois nonprofit organization and an Illinois licensed child welfare agency dedicated to changing the landscape of foster care and adoption in Illinois. Our mission is to inspire foster care and adoption so more children in care grow up in stable, healthy homes. Funds raised will go to programs that build a strong and innovative bridge between our waiting children and foster and adoptive parents. Learn more at letitbeus.org