Renew Foster Care License?

I opened up the mail today and received a request from the county to renew our foster care license.

A few thoughts ran through my head.

  • Yay! I love foster care and can’t wait to sign up for another three years!
  • Hmm. Do they really need me to re-up? I’ve been waiting for a child to be placed long-term in our home for four months.
  • Yikes! My work is looking at transferring me next summer. Is it responsible to accept a long-term placement if we’re not available for more than one year?

license-registration

If there’s anything learned in the past three years as a foster mom, it’s to accept that my feelings will always be all over the map when it comes to foster care.

There will be days when I want to do more than can humanly be done, saying yes to every request for volunteers for our foster parent association. And days I want to lay snuggled in my bed ignoring the paperwork that needs filing and the calls that need to be made.

There will be happy days when I am shocked and awed by the progress made by my foster children and their parents. And dark moments when despair creeps in and I doubt that difficult circumstances can be overcome.

There will be many wonderful memories of time spent with awesome kids picking apples or searching for fossils at the beach or hiking in the woods. And there will be tears when it’s time to say goodbye as they move back home.

But one thing is always constant. I love these kids. For their courage, their silliness, for just being them.

Guess it’s time to fill out that paperwork to renew our foster care license.

Too Scared to be a Foster Parent

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.