Foster Care 101: Tips For Successful Foster Parents

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Know what you’re capable of.

Many children introduced into foster care have special needs, whether they are physical or emotional. It’s important for parents to know what they are able to handle and communicate that to Child Protective Services.

“Some of these children need multiple doctors appointments a week. They have to see therapists. They need in-home care. These kids are a lot to handle. And even worse, sometimes their needs haven’t been addressed for years or ever. So foster parents need to be honest with themselves and with us about their limitations,” Ashley tells me.

“It’s a commitment,” one mother says. “It’s time and energy to take care of these kids. It’s not just dropping them off at school every day and getting food on the table, though these things are important to. There’s the possibility of so much more involvement necessary for these kids. You have to know what your limit is.”

Social workers and CPS do take this information into account when they place children with families. “We have a list of available homes and I know who can handle the most difficult situations. I know how many kids they already have in their home. We do what we can to make sure that foster parents aren’t overwhelmed,” Lynn told me.

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