Blog Post: Be a Foster Parent

What’s it take to be a Foster Parent?

  • May 14th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Is it hard? Yes. Is it challenging? Yes. Is it worth it? Completely.

Being a foster parent requires time, self-sacrifice, dedication, and a little humor. It may be one of the most demanding roles you take on, but the rewards are immeasurable. By providing a nurturing and stable environment, you can make a profound difference in the life of a child.

5 Key Foster Parent Qualities

Beyond those, here are some of the qualities that Pathway Case Managers feel make a GREAT foster parent:

  1. Reasonable Expectations: Having reasonable expectations and meeting a child where they are means greeting our children with compassion and understanding. They may not act like their chronological age because trauma has gotten in the way somewhere along the way and paused their development. A child may have had zero positive role models before you. So be exceptional. Be patient and build trust. How you make them feel will last far longer than what you say.
  2. Create an Enriching Lifestyle: The ability to create an enriching lifestyle for the children in the home. This means not just providing for basic needs but by purposeful involvement of the child in family activities and traditions. Always celebrate big and little successes or achievements. You can try to create a bedroom for the child that is welcoming and personalized. AND exposing children to a variety of things they may have never experienced in the community like ice skating, roller skating, movie theaters, and doing something nice for someone else.
  3. Be a Good Team Player: Being a good team player by consulting with case managers when issues arise means that foster parents use the tools that are offered, take constructive criticism, and follow through with recommendations. We’re all in this together. Having good communication with the case manager gives a foster parent an outlet for their feelings and concerns, and it provides a positive example to the child.
  4. Support Biological Family Relationships: Reunification is almost always the goal. Modeling appropriate responses and boundaries and being available for challenging conversations can have a lifelong impact on the children and families you are serving by being a foster parent. Always remain respectful while talking about bio parents and this helps maintain a sense of respect for the children to see.
  5. Successfully Handling Transitions: Foster care is full of transitions so it is important as a foster parent that you become great at anticipating and navigating through them. Be a role model whenever you can-SHOW our children that you can be anxious or sad or scared and still be okay. Transitions move along much better at home when the kids have a routine and structure. Departures can be a time filled with mixed emotions for you and for your foster child but YOU set the tone. Sometimes allowing a child to help pack their things can help prepare them emotionally and bring some closure.

Learn More About Becoming a Foster Parent

The first step to becoming a foster parent is to contact our Recruitment Department. We are here to answer your questions about foster parenting. Call 330-818-0444 or email TODAY!

To become a Pathway foster or foster-to-adopt parent, you must also meet these general requirements and qualifications.