Maybe you have thought about becoming a foster parent, but are scared it would be too hard. It’s ok to be scared. Take it just one step at a time.
The first step is to go to a foster care orientation where they tell you about the intake process and foster care in general. Those two hours can be eye-opening. You’ll meet social workers and realize they aren’t the jaded, heartless people portrayed on tv. You’ll meet other prospective foster parents, who are just as anxious, and realize you’re not alone. You’ll hear about the expectations and the supports available to foster parents.
From there you can sign up for the foster care class, where they will teach you how to be a foster parent. It’s about 10 classes over 2 months. No cost to you, you can back out any time. You’ll get to ask as many questions as you want. Other prospective foster parents will ask questions you hadn’t even thought of. You’ll learn and the unknown will become a bit more known and bit less scary.
A social worker will work with you one-on-one to prepare a home study. You can have conversations that you didn’t want to have in front of the group. You will get advice tailored specifically to you. Still no obligation, still no cost.
And after you graduate from class and have your home study done, the social workers will begin to call you to ask if you would accept a particular child. You get to ask questions about that child. You get to say no. You are in control.
Then one day you will have a child in your house. If you feel you need help, you can ask for it. From the foster agency, from friends, from family, from church, from schools… there are so many people out there who will be willing to lend a hand. You’d be surprised.
If something catastrophic happens, you still have an out. I pray that you would only disrupt in the direst case, but it is an option if the foster parent-child match is bad and can’t be fixed.
So you have many “opt outs” along the way. But I believe that in the stillness of your heart, you will hear the voice of love calling you to welcome a child into your home and be the one to stand by them no matter what.
What are you waiting for? Take the first step today. Go to AdoptUS Kids to find a foster care agency near you.