Foster care is the care of other people's children on a full time basis around the clock in your home. Think child care and multiply it by three. Foster kids don't go home at the end of the day. Foster homes ARE the home. The children are there because , for some reason, their parents can NOT take care of them properly. Sometimes the child is in care temporarily until his parents can resume care, sometimes he is in "The System" until he turns 18. Foster parents are paid a stipend from the state to help defray the costs the raising another's child. Currently there are over 600,000 children in the foster care system in the United States.

As with anything else, there are positives and negatives to being a foster parent.

Reasons to consider it

  • you help keep kids safe
  • you share a piece of yourself
  • you receive a piece of them
  • you help to provide a better life for them
  • you help kids to cope and adjust

Reasons to STILL consider it despite this list

Foster kids are generally given a bad rap. They are the the lost children of our society, shoved aside, trying to hang on as best they can in a world of uncertainty and limbo. Foster children tend to grow up fast in order to cope with life's hard lessons dumped on them at an early age.

Foster parenting is not easy and it is not for everyone, but, it is vital to these kids whose world has been turned upside down. Many are dealing with severe emotional issues, broken homes, alcoholism, mental illness, etc, etc.. Easing the transition to the foster home is important to the child. He must be made to feel a part of the family, not just a temporary inconvenience. Foster children need to feel acceptance. They need patience and love, and then they need more patience and love heaped on top of that.

If you can do that, consider becoming a foster parent. Sites to check out...

The Foster Care Connection*

Foster Club

and read The Lost Boy to see the perspective of a child going through the system

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