The whole process from orientation to approved and licensed can take quite a bit of time, depending upon your eagerness, and the agency you are working with. Your first step is to attend a day orientation that will give you important information to confirm your decision, or to help you realize you need more time. Then you will fill out a foster parent questionnaire to see if you meet the qualifications. General requirements are: you must have compassion and the willingness to nurture a child in crisis, be 21 or over, have space in your home, have a valid drivers license and proof of auto insurance, all adults in the home must pass a fingerprint background check, complete a general health exam/TB test, must be certified in first aid and cpr, and basic water rescue training if you have a pool, spa, or pond at your home with no lifeguard. The next step is to fill out and turn in a foster parent application. Then attend 20 hours of foster/adopt training. Next you will participate in an interview for certification. Finally you need to pass a home check. From there you could wait anywhere from a few days, up to six months before receiving a foster child in need, it all depends on the needs of the child in comparison to what you offer, and location. Now comes the effect on both you and the child or children.you better understand where they are coming from. Negatives aside there are so many positives that far outweigh the bad or difficult. You have a chance to change a child life. It may not be a huge impact for some, but many foster children that have grown up and gone on their own have reflected back to their foster parents and been grateful for the support and care they were given, “My family and my life may have been unconventional but I’m the woman I am now- with the drive to follow my dreams and keep my heart open- because of it” relates Kaitlin Chamberlain, who got bounced around to many different homes when she was younger, but wouldn't change her life for a minute. For the parents themselves you can learn so many new things from a foster child, strength, new techniques, ways of thinking, experiences, beliefs, compassion, and understanding to name a few. Being a foster parent can be a highly rewarding personal choice for anyone willing to help those in need. You can be that change in someones life, and they can do the same for you.
Becoming a foster parent can be a tough decision, you may encounter children with difficult emotional needs, or feel like there is just no way you can help.but keep in mind that it is a loving, and supportive presence that they need, and that you are providing. If you have that desire to be a foster parent, don't wait and expect someone else to do it instead, there are roughly half a million U.S kids in the foster care system, and only about half that of foster parents, you can make a difference. Remember the myths, take that first step, finish the process, and you can be on the road to a rewarding life.