1. “I’ll get too attached…” is one of the most common reasons people may feel hesitant to become a foster parent. In fact, if you think you may get too attached, you’re the perfect candidate to be a foster parent, because you care! Of course it’s difficult to think about loving a child as your own with the possibility of them leaving someday. Foster care is not about what you can get, it’s about what you can give. When we look at it as an opportunity to love a child who maybe otherwise wouldn’t be receiving that love, safety and nurturing, it’s easier to give love freely. These kids deserve attachment. They deserve our attention, kindness, and healing. Our love is never given in vain. These kids’ lives will be forever changed, even if we don’t get to see it ourselves. Yes, it may be SO hard if they have to leave, but it is SO worth it.
2. “The kids are too difficult…” Can we all agree that parenting ANY child or youth can be a challenge sometimes? Whether a child is of your flesh and blood or not, there can be a multitude of opportunities for us as parents to learn and grow through parenting these kids. Children in foster care are not “bad.” They have been victims of neglect, abuse, abandonment, and trauma. The negative behaviors we see in children are a sign of a deeper issue within- an unmet need. As foster parents, we have the chance to help heal some of these wounds, meet their needs, and give them hope to thrive. One of my favorite ideas that TBRI (Trust Based Relationship Intervention) teaches is this: Trauma harms the brain, but love, nurturing and care can heal the brain.
3. “I don’t have what it takes…” You don’t have to be a perfect parent to do this. All you need is a safe, loving home and an openness to learn. There are SO many amazing free classes and resources for foster parents that teach you how to approach the many different scenarios and challenges that come with fostering. Many agencies provide support groups that can help you process along the journey so you don’t have to do it alone.
If you still don’t feel that fostering is right for you at this time, there are many ways to support kids in foster care or provide help for foster families. You can prepare a meal for a foster family, purchase some necessities for a foster child, buy a self care gift set for foster parents… It truly takes a village to do this, and we can’t do it alone; everyone can play a part!
If you are local to Orange County, San Diego or Los Angeles, reach out to us directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!