Anytime you engage in a new adventure, whether that’s traveling to a new country or starting a new job, you can be nervous because you don’t know what to expect. It’s only after you’ve been in a destination for a while, or you’ve been in your new job for a few weeks that you begin to feel more comfortable and confident.
Many people hesitate to become foster parents because they don’t know what to expect. They may think it’s super hard, and they don’t want to upset their current family situation, or they may think all the kids are unruly and they don’t have the skills to cope.
Family Care for Children and Youth in Pennsylvania, a foster care agency, wants to help quell your fears and anxiety about foster care by offering up some answers to your question about what to expect as a first-time foster parent. We are always here for you if you do have questions concerning foster care and what that entails. Call us to learn more today!
WHAT TO EXPECT AS A FIRST-TIME FOSTER PARENT
Expect to Be on Alert
Due to the very nature of foster care, circumstances and situations can change at any moment. This means that one moment you receive a call saying you are getting a foster child later that afternoon, and the next moment they call and say nevermind. Not only can this be emotionally challenging, but it’s also very hard to plan your life around. Yet, this is an inevitable part of being a foster care parent that you’ll just have to accept and work around. If you are prepared in other ways, such as with necessities, then when the foster child shows up, you should be able to work them seamlessly into your life.
Expect To Not Know Much
Because of privacy laws, you won’t be told a lot about your foster child’s background. Plus, there may be five hands in the pot, from the person who removed the child to the person delivering the child to your front door. Information can be lost in the process, and even the social workers don’t know the whole story. While this can be disconcerting, it doesn’t affect your job of providing the child with everything they need to make a home.
Expect to Be On the Go the First Week
As much as you think you’re prepared to welcome a child into your home, you won’t be. You may have the wrong formula, or wrong size socks. Your child may need last-minute school supplies. You may need to go and get a prescription for the child. Your child may only have one set of clothes, so you may have to go shopping. There are so many unknowns with foster children that you should expect the first week to be devoted to ensuring your child has everything physically that they need in your home.
Expect Legalities in the First Week
From court dates to phone calls and biological parents, you should expect a lot of legal paperwork, court dates, and other appointments, such as doctor’s appointments in the first few days and weeks. Your caseworker will visit, as well as many nurses, guardians, more people from the foster care agency, and more. Expect to be available and have a steady stream of visitors in the first week.
Expect That You Will Need Help
From your friends and family to other foster care parents, expect that you will need help as you enter your foster care journey. Undoubtedly, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve met a lot of other foster care families and received a lot of great advice. Adopt a mentor family who can help you. Join an online foster care group in your area who can offer advice. Finally, reach out to your foster care agency who is always there for you, no matter the day or night.
CHOOSE FAMILY CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Family Care for Children and Youth is a foster care agency in Pennsylvania. We help place foster kids with loving families who can help give them a great home to heal in and grow until they can be reunited with their biological families. We also help families who are interested in adopting through the foster care system. Many children cannot return to their biological families and need a permanent home. While we understand that many families are hesitant to become a foster or adoptive family, we hope we’ve answered some of your expectations above. The key is to remember you are not alone. We are here to support you 100% of the time throughout this process.
To be a great foster family, all you need is to open your heart to help children in need, reach out to our foster care and adoption agency today!