Being a foster parent is no easy task. No amount of stipend money or assistance from The CALL or other organizations could be the only motivating factor to foster because of its difficulty. People who choose to foster are answering a call. They may not always feel prepared or willing, but they do what they have to do.
Being a foster parent is more than giving children a roof over their head while their parents get better. It’s more than changing diapers and taking children to school.
Yes, a foster parent provides a child with their physical needs. Children have to be fed, sheltered, and clothed. They also need appropriate demonstration of physical affection. They need to be hugged, given pats on the back, have their hand held, and be given loving cuddles.
Foster parents provide for their emotional needs. Many of these children come in physically ill and hungry, but almost all of these children come in with an empty emotional tank. Foster parents have to give children a sense of security and give them love and affection the way they do with their own biological children. The catch is that foster parents understand the probability that these children they’ve given their hearts to will return home.
A foster parent also lays the foundation for social skills in those children who are lacking. They help these children form relationships and develop problem solving skills. They teach them right from wrong and give them values they can live by if they don’t have any values of their own.
They have the daunting task of encouraging these children to maintain a relationship with their biological parents. It’s their job to promote reunification with the biological parents up until the moment DCFS says rights will be terminated.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to teach older children the things most parents teach their biological children from the time they’re born. Foster parents have to prioritize and do the very best they can because they may only have them for a short time.
The job of a foster parent, like any other parent, is never done. Many times these children go home and the foster parent feels like they didn’t complete their mission. They mourn for the children they’ve grown to love, but they’re happy the family has been given a second chance.
Fostering is a a wonderful calling. Foster parents, although they don’t feel like it, are doing a magnificent work for the Lord.
If you’re interested in fostering, check out our information about the requirements to foster and then get to an informational meeting.
If you’re already a foster parent, THANK YOU. You’re amazing.
If you can’t foster, find out how to help a foster parent or a foster child. The CALL can help you plug in to these families. The next best thing to a foster parent is someone who supports a foster parent.