Being a foster parent is not an easy task. On the other hand, it is a noble thing to do and can bring the foster parent a lot of rewards. You must, however, be careful with foster children. Children who have experienced abandonment and abuse have to be treated with care. As the foster parent, it is your duty to provide a safe haven for them.
Taking care of children requires money. Being a foster parent means that you get paid to take care of them but it usually isn’t enough. Yes kids need love and attention but they also need to be clothed and properly fed. Some people agree to be foster parents to make an income from the state; however, fully utilizing this money won’t leave anything extra to take care of other necessary things. In other words, you hardly receive enough money to take care of the foster child so don’t expect it to be sufficient income.
Another aspect of being a foster parent is the emotion involved. You may decide to become a foster parent because you eventually want to adopt a child. However, in my opinion, this isn’t a wise thing to do. In some cases, even though a child may have been neglected or abused, chances are they want to return home. Whether or not they can is a different story. The fact is that they have a family and trying to replace those family members may be an impossible task for you and may result in rejection or rebellion. Don’t hold on to unrealistic expectations through being a foster parent as you may end up being disappointed.
As a foster parent, your aim is to temporarily care for the child. You don’t want to take the chance of hurting or confusing them during the process. As a foster child, it would be an awful thing for you to create a tug of war between you and their real family. A caregiver of any kind is to put the needs of the person being cared for ahead of theirs. It would be a selfish act to foster children so they can fulfill your needs.
Practice not becoming too attached. These children have their individual journeys to take and it is your job to help them along. If you have expectations that they are unable to fulfill then this can result in resentment on both sides. It is important to set boundaries for children while allowing them to make their own choices in life.
It may hurt to see them leave your care especially if they have to return to face the pain in their lives. However, for the short amount of time you have the privilege to take care of them, use the opportunity to model their behavior which will make their relationships with other people better and show them endless love no matter what as they may be missing this aspect in their usual lives. You can encourage them to broaden their horizons by involving them with sports, arts and culture. Teach them something new which will have a positive impact on their lives. Also, give them the opportunity to meet positive people as this will help prevent a negative and pessimistic outlook on life.
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