I’ve decided foster care is something I want to do. Moving forward, what are three of the first things that should be on my list?
It’s a really exciting time in life when a family starts having children, whether they foster first or have biological children first. There are some important things to remember when you’re ready to take the leap into foster care.
*Share the news with your family and friends. We told our family years ago that we were going to foster. Once we were in the licensing process, we took a picture out in front of our house, and when we were finally licensed, we shared the picture!
It was a fun way to announce our family growth on social media!
*Have coffee with someone who has been a foster parent. When we decided to be foster parents, it was so important for me to ask real, specific, and some hard questions for those who had walked the road before me. I remember grabbing lunch with a friend. We had already decided to be foster parents long before this lunch, so I intended to just ask those practical questions about how to get licenses, etc. but we wound up talking about that and so much more! She shared with me her journey and she shared so much insight about aspects of foster care that I did not even anticipate! It was so encouraging and I’m so glad we were able to share that time together.
*Research and choose your licensing agency. Here’s a place to ask a lot more questions of someone who has done this. There are lots of agencies (many are state- or region-specific) and Child Protective Services or the Department of Social Services, depending on what it’s called in your state.
I’m sure other foster parents may advise differently about the first three steps to take after making the final decision, but this is what makes sense most to us in our experience.