There’s no question about it. Foster parenting is important and impactful work. It is hard, yet rewarding. And for the countless successful foster parents we work with, they say it is totally worth the trials and challenges they face.
So the question really is, is foster parenting right for you? If this is a question you have been pondering for yourself, we want to encourage deeper consideration by providing you with a few follow-up questions. If you are considering foster care it is important to know all that it entails and ensure you are ready to take on the responsibility.
With that said, if you are considering foster care, ask yourself these three questions.
1. Do we really know what foster care is and what will be expected of us as foster parents?
Foster care is designed to support and welcome children and youth in your home for a likely unknown period of time while parents work on a reunification plan. In most cases, reunification is the goal of foster care and it should not be viewed as a path to adoption.
At Benchmark Family Services we ensure all our foster parents have a full understanding of foster parent qualifications and foster parent training in Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania to make sure expectations are clear.
2. Do I meet foster parent qualifications in my State?
With that said, it is important to ensure you meet all the requirements or qualifications for foster parenting in your state. For those living in Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania our team at Benchmark Family Services can help you understand these requirements and help you through the qualification process. Contact us for more information.
You will likely need to meet all of these requirements:
- At least 21 years old
- Provide character references
- Able to financially support yourself and your household
- In good enough physical and mental health to care for an additional child
- Pass a federal/criminal background check
3. Can we meet the needs of foster children and how will that impact our home?
Foster care is a team sport. It requires the investment and wholehearted support of everyone in the home. This means partners should be on the same page. Children should be on board as much as possible based on their age. There are age-appropriate ways to introduce foster care to children through books, conversations, and even videos.
Consider if you can meet logistical needs as well. Do I have the bedroom space needed? Enough space in my car? Can I get everyone to their schools? Will I need childcare?
Foster Parent Training
These questions are designed to support you in your decision-making process when considering becoming a foster parent. They are not meant to scare you but foster self-reflection and get you started in the process. Please feel free to Contact Benchmark Family Services with any additional questions you may have or support you may need to make this big decision.