Becoming a foster parent is a great thing for children born into difficult families. These are children coming from abusive, neglecting, and troublesome homes. These children may have been exposed to sexual or physical abuse, drug addicted parents or abandonment. They are heartbroken, angry and desperate for love.

You can help. Foster care is the answer.

It’s important for you to know that becoming a foster parent is not going to be all walks in the park. This foster child needs someone who is 180 degrees different from the home they came from, so you need to ensure you are ready before making the commitment.

4. Work Well With Others
When taking a foster child, you will attend meetings to get paperwork filled out, personalities matched and regular check ups. You may even work directly with the birth family as a mentor to help unite the foster child back into his or her biological family.

3. Communication Skills Are Necessary
This goes well with working with others. You have to take on all ties to the child including teachers, social workers, judges and court authorities, your family and friends, and most importantly the child. It’s going to be a difficult time. You’ll have to manage the balance of care without smothering to ensure your foster child is happy and healthy in your home.

2. Behavioral Management For All Personalities Is Key
You have no idea how your foster child will fit into your home nor how they will react to your parenting methods. What worked for your kin may not work for your foster child. In case it’s not obvious to you, corporal punishment is a definite NO when it comes to foster care. Do careful research on whether your foster child was abused, and be very conscious of that with your behavior management.

1. It’s Not Going To Be Easy
Getting into foster care requires diligence, extra support (financially and emotionally) and dedication. There is a thorough application process to ensure your family is a good fit for foster care, and it may take years before you get approved. Your biological family may feel unappreciated if they feel as if you are holding your foster child in a higher priority. It is also going to be a financial commitment to add another child to your home.

Do your research, and talk to Foster Care for Children and Youth to see how you can become a foster parent in Pennsylvania.