It is normal to be anxious about fostering or not to know everything about it. If you want to become a foster parent in Little Rock, Arkansas, then Integrity will be your support system and guide on this journey.
Emotional readiness checklist
The idea of being ready for fostering is subjective. Like the decision of having a biological child of your own, everyone prepares for it differently. However, if you are preparing to care for a foster child, then it is a different kind of readiness.
Foster parents face obstacles that do not exist for biological parents.
Fostering demands a particular kind of mental and emotional readiness. Foster children have been through some level of trauma, otherwise, they likely would not be in foster care. In short, the child will need you to be strong to help them become stronger.
Therefore, the foster parent must be ready to help digest and process their emotions. The trauma a child might experience before they enter your care can be difficult to manage. The things your foster child has experienced will break your heart. Will you be ready for that?
Integrity will help prepare you for this. Once again, this is not something you will be going through alone. Rather than fearing the process, you should educate yourself on what to expect.
Gauging your readiness
There are a few questions you should consider to gauge whether or not you are ready to foster a child.
- Are you ready to commit to a child?
- If you are in a relationship, is it in a state where it can be put under stress?
- Are you responsible enough to keep and file foster records?
- Do you have a support group? (Family, foster agency, or friends)
- Are you willing to accommodate for the time commitment?
- Can you emotionally invest in a child?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you might be close.
Your job is to be a guide to a hurting child during this healing period. When you see the first fruits of restoration, you will experience a deep sense of joy that only comes from fostering.
Resources readiness checklist
It is great if you are emotionally ready to foster a child. However, you must also have the resources to do it.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) wants to be assured the child is entering a stable environment. Therefore, you will need to satisfy their requirements. Do not worry if you feel unprepared. All these items will be covered in your foster training class, and you will have time to satisfy these areas before moving further into the fostering process.
First, having a steady job assures DHS that you have monetary means to provide the basic necessities for the child. Also, it protects children from irresponsible adults who wish to abuse the foster care system.
Additionally, you will need a car. A car is needed to transport your child to and from foster appointments. It is also a safety measure in emergency situations.
You also need a home large enough to accommodate an extra family member. Specifically, you need a room designated for the child. An apartment with the appropriate space will also suffice.
Lastly, you need a support group. Although Integrity can help you with this, having friends and family who are willing to come alongside you in this journey is a significant bonus.
To sum up the question of readiness, you must analyze your life. Having confidence in yourself goes a long way when making this decision. It is okay to be anxious, but do not let that discourage you from fostering. Every good endeavor starts with some nervousness, so focus on making a difference and helping a child when they need it most.
If you are in the Little Rock area and have questions about fostering, then contact Integrity.