What’s it Like to be a Foster Parent?

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
What's it like to be a Foster Parent

If you want to get a realistic picture of what’s it like to be a foster parent, the best thing to do is speak with the folks who are living it.

Kids enter foster care through no fault of their own–typically because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned and are unable to continue living safely with their families.

Foster parents are needed in every part of our country. Being a successful foster parent is hard work. It requires opening yourself and your home. But it can also be the most gratifying work you will ever consider. The heart of it, of course, involves working directly with children and their families. But foster care also involves partnering with social workers, schools, and community resources to meet the needs of an infant, child, or teen. Different types of people can make good foster parents, since we all have our own special talents. But keep in mind that foster parenting is not for everyone. What’s it like to be a foster parent? Read on.

Question: What do you say to people who tell you that they “could never foster or adopt” and then ask why or how you’re able to do it?

Julie Cotton: I get this question all the time. People say, “I could never give them [children in foster care] back,” and my response is that they are worth a broken heart.

Aryelle Caruso: I also get this a lot. My response is that I am not afraid to grieve, and that these children deserve my attachment to them — even if it means I am broken-hearted when they leave.

Kandy Jo Fort: People say to me, “I’d get too attached.” Well, I do get attached, but that means I’m doing my job!

How do you respond to someone concerned that they could never give a nonbiological child the love he or she deserves?

Sally Rhodes: We are new to fostering and have our first placement. I am already getting these questions. I tell them that it’s been easier than I thought to love a child not born to you. This kid is starving for love and attention. We are enjoying getting to know him and his personality, his likes and dislikes, sleep patterns, what makes him laugh and what upsets him. It’s a challenge some days, but I know God placed him here in our lives for a reason.

Some day we hope to adopt that special kid or kids that God sends our way, but for now we are taking it one day at a time. Fostering or adopting is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who have a strong heart for kids.

Some adults hesitate to help children in need of families because they’re afraid they can’t give the kids all that they need. For a different perspective on that issue, let’s hear from some of those children.

What would you tell someone who is concerned about fostering a child in their home?

Courtney (age 10): Not all kids are the same. Some kids are mean because they don’t know right from wrong — their families left them on their own and said, “Go get a hot dog for your meal.” They see their mom and dad cussing and drinking and they think that’s how it should be. Or they might seem mean because they don’t know how to do what you’re asking.

If you adopt them and show them what’s right, then that’s how they’ll turn out. More kids need to be adopted so they won’t be moved from home to home, and when they grow up they’ll know how to [act] and how to take care of kids. Maybe if you meet a child in foster care it will help you. Or, pay attention to kids in foster care so you’ll know what to do.

Madeline (age 11): All kids have their own stories and ways of doing things. Some have backgrounds that aren’t that bad, but some are bad. You have to treat children with compassion and be patient with them. Kids in foster care are normal kids, but something in their past has affected their present. You need to help them have a better future.

What do children in foster care need most?

Madeline: They need to feel loved and cared for. What made me feel safe was knowing that I could do what I needed to do. Sometimes you need to go to your room and be quiet. Sometimes you need to talk about things. When you get to feel comfortable, it helps that people will spend time and listen to the stuff you need to talk about.

Courtney: Getting to do things that normal kids do — kids just want to be normal like other kids. They feel safe not having to move and make new friends all the time.

Kids need a safe and quiet place to figure out who they are. They just need time. That’s what they need: time.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Employee at child placing agency
Adoption

The Role of a Child Placing Agency

Child placing agencies play a prominent role in the lives of children in foster care. Understanding the day-to-day operations of a child placing agency helps us realize the importance of their work.

florida foster care system
Adoption

Foster Care in Your State: Florida

Wondering how you can make a difference for Florida children in foster care? Learn about the child welfare system, the need for foster families, and how you can get started.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!