View Full Version : Any foster parents out there?
April 25th, 2006, 11:55am
My husband and I are in the beginning stages of applying to be foster parents. Any one with advice?
April 25th, 2006, 12:52pm
We did fost-adopt through the foster care system in Los Angeles. Are you planning on being emergency care? Short term / long term?
April 25th, 2006, 1:21pm
I think we're going to try for long term, but are willing to do short term and emergency if necessary. There is a huge shortage of foster parents in our area. The application process is quite involved (for good reason), so I have no idea how long it will take.
April 25th, 2006, 2:06pm
It's a great thing you're doing. There is a shortage of foster parents, and a huge shortage of GOOD foster parents. The home study is rather lengthy. You will likely have to make your home child-proof, take infant/child CPR and First Aid, go to fingerprinting and background checks, and be interviewed by a social worker. If the need for homes is great, you'll probably get a placement very soon after being licensed/certified. We were called with a match about 2 months after we finished our home study.
April 25th, 2006, 2:56pm
Thanks for your info. It's really encouraging to hear from someone who has been there.
April 26th, 2006, 5:16pm
Just curious- What led you to the decision to be a foster parent? Did you have a personal experience with it or did you just want to do something good for children? I have thought about it before because of a few positive experirences with people who foster but..... I've always been put off by two things. 1) Bringing a strange (as in stranger) child into my home and how that might affect my own kids and 2) growing to love a child and then having to give him or her back to parents that may or may not deserve to have them back!
I'm interested in your opinions/experiences. :)
April 26th, 2006, 5:34pm
My sister in law was a foster parent, and I saw how much good she did. I always wanted to have more children ( I have one), but wasn't able to. My daughter is 14 and for that reason I would request younger children instead of teens. I know how hard it must be to let go of a child you've grown to love, but hopefully I will be able to handle that.
April 29th, 2006, 3:31pm
I was a foster kid so I can offer some advice from that perspective.
Never foster a child older than your youngest. I saw too much and I'll leave it at that.
Never get too attached. Chances are slim that the child will become adoptable and you'll get first 'dibs'. If the child goes up for adoption their case worker may have a slew of families already waiting, and the fact the child has bonded with you won't make any difference (unless you are lucky).
Make sure if you only want one child you stick to it. You will get calls at all hours for emergency placements. It will be the most heart wrenching story and they say it's just for the night. It's not 99% of the time. If you have a bedroom and just have 1 child, they figure you can put 2 children in the same room and it won't be any trouble for you. A lot of fosters have quit because they didn't stick to the # they agreed upon and took one too many emergency calls.
Understand that these children need parents, not friends. Give them the rules right away and don't differ your schedule too much in the beginning. They have had something horrible happen to end up at your door. The first week isn't the time for the zoo or a trip to a friend's house (or to have company). They may have never had a 'home' life or any positive attention. Use the first week for one on one time, if you can.
I applaud you for looking into this. I would love to foster, but my dh doesn't feel like our youngest is old enough (we would have to take an infant and yes, our hands are quite full with our 3!). You are doing the right thing asking around for advice. When you sign up for this they will show you all that glitters... you should know up front what is the worst and best that can happen!
PM me if you have any other questions from my perspective!
April 29th, 2006, 9:52pm
Thanks for the great info. I know it just can't be as easy as the caseworkers keep telling me, but my sister in law gave me a more realistic picture. I can't tell you how much it means to hear from someone on the "receiving end". I feel certain that my heart will break on occasion, but that's a part of parenting any child. I may pm you later on, right now they are doing the background checks on us. So much paperwork!