Jorge and Jill, Foster Parents of the Year
Open Your Heart and Home
Foster parents provide a temporary, safe home for children in crisis because of abuse, neglect, or other issues that endanger the child’s well-being and safety. When possible, the Department of Children and Family Services and other agencies work to reunite the child with the birth family. If that is not possible, steps are taken towards adoption or independent living.
A foster parent does more than provide food, clothes, and shelter
The children can be afraid, angry, confused, or feel powerless because they were removed from the only home they’ve known. Many are siblings, older children, or young teens. Some have developmental, physical, emotional, or behavioral problems. But they all need safe, supportive environments.
Foster parents are part of a child’s support network including the social worker, attorney, teacher, and doctor. They are nurturers and advocates who give love freely even if the child cannot return that love because of the fear of rejection. They are tolerant and positive even if the child has many problems. They help a child feel they belong even though the stay is temporary.
These are some of the qualities that make a good foster parent.
Financial, Medical and Other Assistance
There is financial assistance, medical care, and other kinds of assistance available to help foster parents provide for the child’s needs. You must prove, though, that you don’t need to depend on this assistance.
Your home must have enough room and meet basic safety and sanitary standards. You must pass a criminal background check, be physically and emotionally capable of caring for a child and not have drug problems. Training is required to prepare you for issues that can arise. Many children have unique needs and life experiences that may effect interactions with your family and others.
Other Types of Foster Care
Another form is “respite” care for those who only want to care for children part-time or as needed. This is commonly used to help give full-time foster parents a break on weekends or short term for 1-2 weeks at a time.
Are you ready to become a foster parent?
Call us at (847) 623-1730 to express your interest about foster care and learn more.