We recognize that deciding to become a foster parent or respite foster parent can seem overwhelming and you may have questions that you would like answered by actual licensed foster parents. We encourage these conversations and on this page you will find a running list of questions that have been asked of our foster parents, along with their answers.
Do you have a question? Submit your question(s) here and a response will be posted within 48 hours:
Why do people become foster parents?
“People decide to become foster parents for a variety of reasons. My partner and I decided to become foster parents because we have the time and space in our home, and want to make a difference in the life of a child.”
“We wanted to be able to help children and families, and we have the resources to do so.”
“We prayed on how to help our community and God told us to become foster parents.”
What is the best part about being a foster parent?
“The most rewarding aspect of providing foster care is helping children when they are most vulnerable. With the help of the entire team, we hope we can provide safety, love, and some normalcy for children in our care.”
“Knowing I was helping kids with what they were struggling with on all levels and having a great team to work with.”
“It is rewarding to see the kiddos make progress. Seeing the emotional and physical changes. I love hearing them go from screaming and yelling to expressing their feelings and saying, ‘I’m very frustrated. How do you think I feel?’”
I heard that there is a lot of training...can you tell me more?
“Yes, there is a lot of training, but we found it to be helpful in preparing us. Norris required 45 hours of training before we accepted placement of a child. There are also ongoing training requirements, and our TFC worker helps us find trainings we would find most helpful.”
How is it decided if a child is placed in my home?
“During the licensing process, your TFC worker will talk with you about the different types of kids that come into the system, and you talk with your family about what would be a good fit. You can choose ages, gender, behaviors, really anything. Then, when the TFC worker gets a referral they will call you to see if you are interested in learning more. It is okay to say no if we don’t think it will be a good fit. Most times, there is the opportunity to meet the child before they come live with you.”
I do not want to get attached, what if the children go back home?
“I’ve had people comment to me before about how they don’t foster because "they would get too attached" But my perspective is that if someone is fostering I HOPE they get attached, that's what these kids need. We are the adults and better able to handle the loss when it happens. Get attached! Bond. Love as much as you can. Kids need everything we can give them. Fostering will change you, but it will be worth it.”
What advice do you have for new foster parents?
“Have a sense of humor.”
“Learn to ask for help, or at the bare minimum accept help in whatever form you have help offered to you.”
“Know that kids have an invisible suitcase and you’re going to be helping them unpack it.”
“Lead with your heart but keep your eyes wide open.”
“Try to step back and appreciate the things that you can see in the amazing times as well as in the trying times. There are beautiful moments everywhere and sometimes we just need to try a few different perspectives.”
“Each foster child is completely different. You have to play to their strengths when they have weak moments.”