Children of foster parents often come from families in crisis, so adults thinking of becoming foster parents must research this choice carefully. This Web guide can help you decide whether you’re ready to be a foster parent, find support resources, and if you are (or were) in the foster care system as a youth, connect you with others who have had similar experiences.
The resources in this section can help you learn more about the foster care system and gauge your family’s readiness to welcome a foster child into your lives.
- Individual states may have different application and certification processes for prospective foster parents. Use search terms like “foster parenting in Arizona” or “Minnesota foster parents” to find information specific to where you live.
- If you’re considering becoming a foster parent to a child with a medical issue, findingDulcinea has numerous health Web guides to help you research a variety of subjects.
For general questions about foster care …
answers many questions a person may have about being a foster parent. The site also discusses some of the benefits past foster families say they have enjoyed by caring for a foster child.
National Foster Care Month
addresses several frequently asked questions about foster parenting, starting with “How can I become a Foster Parent?” and moving to issues like “How can I learn more about foster care?
offers a short checklist of qualities a prospective foster parent should display as part of their readiness to become a foster parent, such as financial independence, and a clean, safe home in which to live.
To learn foster care terms …
The National Foster Parent Association
contains a helpful glossary of vocabulary terms about foster care. If you’re considering becoming a foster parent, this handy resource can help you become more familiar with the system.
To learn about training and certification …
Foster Parent College
supplies online opportunities to learn about behavioral issues foster children may face and offers parenting strategies that may be effective.
Child Welfare Information Gateway
can help you gain some insight into why children need supportive families, understand the importance of “cultural competence,” find support programs available to help your family and more.
To learn about the emotional aspects of foster care …
The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care
explores some of the deeper issues facing the foster care system in its extensive research series. Reports include “A Child’s Journey Through the Child Welfare System” and “Demographics of Children in Foster Care.”
provides resources foster parents may need as they work to provide a safe environment for foster children. Order training materials or find transitional tools for children adjusting to a new school or home.
To learn about policy issues in foster care …
National Foster Care Coalition
reviews several policy issues in foster care, such as child welfare financing, permanence and transition, and foster youth education.
My Stuff Bags Foundation
aims to ease the transition children may experience if they enter the foster care system under emergency circumstances. Learn how to help provide stuffed animals, toiletries or school supplies to kids entering foster homes.
Occasionally, the opportunity arises for parents to adopt their foster kids. Read on if you want to ... read more »
If you’d like to connect with other foster parents or find support groups to share successes ... read more »
A multitude of online support groups and educational resources exist to help foster kids live ... read more »
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