Is There Room in Your Heart and Family for a Child in Need?
There is a growing need for families willing to open their hearts and homes to children and teenagers who have been removed from their families because of neglect or abuse.
These children need a loving family who will walk with them during a time of crisis and welcome them unconditionally into a caring home. Children in foster care range in age from infants to teenagers and typically remain in your care for at least a few months.
Myths About Foster Care
I need to be married and own my home to be a foster parent.
You don’t need to be married, own a home, or even have a college degree to be a foster parent. This means if you’re single or renting, you can foster too!
I don’t have what it takes to be a foster parent.
Do you have a sense of humor? Good. Are you able to adapt to different circumstances? Are you able to provide the love and stability a child needs to thrive? If you have these things and a willingness to receive education and training on foster parenting, you’re the perfect candidate!
Kids in foster care are “bad” or “troubled” kids.
Kids in foster care are good kids in a bad situation and deserve a fresh start to life. They need a caring foster parent who is patient and understanding. When given the opportunity, many of these children begin to thrive.
It will be too hard to give up my foster children when they’re reunited with their families.
The ideal outcome in foster care is for a child to return to his or her biological family. That being said, foster parent/child attachment is essential for the child to experience the love and stability needed to thrive in your home. This means that you may experience some healthy grieving when a child returns to his or her biological parents.
I can’t afford to be a foster parent.
There are monthly reimbursement rates for kids in foster care based on the level of care that you provide. Medical and dental care for the kids is also paid through state Medicaid programs.
What You Need to Be a Foster Parent
- Be a couple or single adult over the age of 21.
- Have a stable housing situation--you can either rent or own your residence--that provides enough for your foster child to grow.
- Demonstrate positive parenting skills that include patience, stability, maturity and love of children.
- Knowledge of child development is helpful, but not required.
- Willingness to work with foster care staff towards achieving identified goals for your foster child.
- A sense of humor and a lot of love!
Support for Foster Parents
Fostering can present challenges as you work towards healing for the child in your care. Bethany recognizes this and provides you with the tools and support you need to help your foster child thrive. This support can include:
- An orientation session
- Training on child development and trauma-informed parenting skills
- Ongoing support from a trained Bethany caseworker
- Foster parent support meetings
- 24-hour crisis intervention services
- Respite care
In addition to these services, Bethany provides you with monthly reimbursement expenses based on the level of care you provide. Medical and dental care for your foster child is paid through your state’s Medicaid program.
As you develop a relationship with your Bethany caseworker, be sure to communicate your educational and support needs so that we can ensure you thrive as a foster parent. We understand that fully-supported foster parents ultimately leads to a more stable and loving environment for the child in your care. Bethany is committed to ensuring that you have what you need to be the best foster parent you can be!
What if I Want to Foster, but My Spouse Isn’t Ready? — Part Two
by Karly Raklovits, Foster Home Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Holland As a licensing specialist, I lead monthly information sessions and regularly talk to prospective …
What if I Want to Foster, but My Spouse Isn’t Ready?
by Karly Raklovits, Foster Home Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Michigan, Holland My husband and I have had a teen boy in our home for about a year. This wasn’t a decision we …
Can I Do Foster Care as a Working Parent?
by Sheina Martinez, Foster Care Recruiter/Licensing Specialist, Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley My husband and I both work full time, and we have two biological children. …
“You might be the only person in this child’s life who sticks with them through everything. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be bumpy. But it’s so rewarding.” —Tammy Evans
"There are a lot of children out there that need somebody. If you have a home, and you like children, and you know how to treat children, I would say do it. You might be happy that you did.” —Helen Hurst
“We do our best to make kids feel at home, and no matter what happened, it wasn’t their fault. We’re going to try to make this better for them. That is my passion.” —Anita Smith