Meeting the Fundamental Needs of Foster Children: A Guide for Potential Foster Parents

In the realm of foster care, understanding and meeting the basic needs of children and youth takes center stage. This blog post delves into the fundamental requirements that form the bedrock for growth and development. Intended as a guide for potential foster parents, it explores how individuals can play a pivotal role in providing a nurturing environment for children in foster care.

The Needs of Children & Youth in Foster Care:

All humans have needs. In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow pinpointed our basic human needs after years of research. The idea was that these basic human needs must be met before we are to grow and learn and thrive in more complex ways.

You may have heard them before as they have been widely accepted to this day as being something all humans need and deserve. These needs include food, water, safety, love, and belonging.

More often than not when a child or teen enters foster care, one or more of these basic needs are not being met.

When becoming a foster parent, it can be helpful to keep these basic needs in mind and remember you are now the one responsible for providing them to this child in your home. Let’s take a look at how you can provide these needs for children in your care.

Food & Water: This one seems a bit obvious. Of course you will feed and provide water to the children in your home, but how can you take it a step further to help them feel cared for?

 Find out their favorite food or drinks and keep them stocked. Be sure to show them the refrigerator, pantry, or snack cabinets. Let them look around your kitchen and explain how meals and snacks work in your home. 

Safety: There are many ways to help a child feel safe in your home. Ultimately the more you can show and share with them the safer they will feel. Give them a tour of the house, and give them permission to look around. Show them around the neighborhood and help familiarize them with a new town. Give them their own room and a space to call their own, and allow them to express themselves freely in your home. 

Love & Belonging: Inviting your foster children into your home and family is such a good way to foster belonging. Include them in family activities, meals, and events. Find out more about their interests and ask them questions. Get to know them and show them you care. 

At Benchmark Family Services when we look at foster parent qualifications in Indiana we look for foster parents who can provide for the basic needs of the children in their care. This is especially important in a therapeutic foster care setting. 

What is Therapeutic Foster Care?

In general, therapeutic foster care, which is sometimes referred to as treatment foster care, involves caring for children and teens in a specific population. These children and youth usually have emotional, behavioral, social, or medical issues. Because of this, they benefit from being placed with families who have received specialized training.

These children and teens can’t receive the healing and growth they need and desire until their basic needs are met. For them to truly benefit from the treatment plans set in therapeutic foster care they must first be in a caring home providing for their basic needs. 

This is why the foster parents we work with are absolutely vital to the success of therapeutic foster care. 

Empowering Change: Reflecting on Your Capacity to Provide a Safe and Nurturing Space for Children in Foster Care

Consider the impact you can make in a child’s life by addressing their basic needs and fostering a sense of belonging. Take a moment to reflect on your own capacity to provide a safe and nurturing space for a child in foster care.

As you embark on this journey, we invite you to share your thoughts and experiences. Have you considered becoming a foster parent? Are you already fostering and have insights to offer? We believe that by opening up a dialogue, we can collectively contribute to the well-being of children and youth in foster care.

Explore Fostering Possibilities with Benchmark Family Services

If the idea of becoming a foster parent resonates with you, or if you simply want to learn more about how you can make a difference, we encourage you to reach out to Benchmark Family Services. Contact our team today to explore the possibilities of fostering and discover how you can play a vital role in shaping a child’s future.