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What Makes a Good Foster Parent

What Makes a Good Foster Parent

A good foster parent is a savior. Not just for the child but the child’s parents as well. This is because they get to keep the child safe from what might harm or negatively impact them. As a foster parent, there are things that you ought to keep in mind. This is in addition to what you have been taught or trained about foster parenting. This is what makes a good foster parent.

What makes a good foster parent? A good foster parent is one who is able to provide a safe, nurturing, and stable environment for a foster child. Such a foster parent should be able to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs, and be able to work collaboratively with the child’s birth family and other involved parties to achieve the best outcome for the child. Additionally, a good foster parent should be able to set boundaries and provide structure, while also being able to be flexible and responsive to the child’s individual needs. A good foster parent should also need to be able to offer love, patience, and support, and be able to advocate for the child.

What Makes a Good Foster Parent

Well, a foster parent needs to have all the qualities of a parent. This means you have to perceive yourself as a parent and behave like one. A good foster parent should be passionate about foster parenting. He or She should be loving, have empathy, caring, and dedicated. Just like a parent is supposed to show love to her children, a good foster parent shows love to foster children.

Remember these children have had a bad past which might have traumatized them hence showing them that someone is there for them and they are in safe hands is what they need the most.

Below are some of the key qualities of a good foster parent:

1. Emotional and Physical availability 

Among the main reasons why children are taken into the foster parent care systems is because their biological parents are not emotionally available. Yes, they might be there physically, but emotionally they are unable or not willing to support their children.

To be a good foster parent, you will have to be there for a child. Both physically and emotionally.

Physically, let them see you, spend time with them, and create time for them. Emotionally, fulfill their emotional needs. When they are unhappy, get to understand the reason why they are not happy.

Let them be able to count on you emotionally. Connect with them and be open to them so that they can also open up about their feelings. Then, you will be able to good care of the foster child.

2. Setting and Enforcing Rules

Being a foster parent means you are the guardian of the child. Since you are taking care of the child on your premises, you should set and enforce rules. When children are under a regulated environment where there are rules that they have to follow, they develop well especially behavior-wise.

To be a good foster parent, set rules for the child to follow and ensure they are reasonable. These are the same rules that you would set for your child. For example, telling them not to access your bedroom without permission.

What Makes a Good Foster Parent

The aim of these rules is not to intimidate them or have any form of detrimental impact. They are set to establish a boundary and have a healthy relationship with a foster child.  

3. Close and Open Relationship 

To be a good foster parent, you should be able to develop a close relationship with the foster child. This is something that does not happen automatically or instantaneously. It takes time, the same way people take time to develop any form of relationship.

An open relationship requires trust and agreeing to take in a foster child doesn’t guarantee that you have their trust. Trust is earned. So, regardless of them being little ones, you will have to earn their trust so that you can be able to develop a close and open relationship with them.

4. Relationship with Foster Child’s Other Family Members 

Keep in mind that the foster child’s family is allowed to visit the child. Therefore, you should have a good relationship with them. This way, both of you will be able to work together for the benefit of the child.

Remember the child is under your care and when the other family members are involved, keeping an eye is the best you can do. Don’t make it feel like you are spying on them. Trust that they will do a good job while interacting with the child for the little time they are spending together.

The relationship doesn’t have to be formal. Since they are not there to inspect or undertake any kind of investigation, establishing a casual and friendly relationship will be more than enough. This will get things on track and create a good first impression.

Related Post: What Happens if a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

5. Reliability and Responsible

When tasked with taking care of a foster child, that is a duty and a responsibility for that matter. Hence you will have to be reliable and responsible. These things don’t come from the blues. They require discipline and time. They also require a person to be understanding and patient.

Therefore, when you want to know what makes a good foster parent, question your reliability, responsibility, patience, honesty, and understanding.

6. Dedication, Willingness to Learn and Grow

The job of a foster parent is not an easy one. It requires input of resources mainly: time, emotional and financial resources. A good foster parent is dedicated to a foster child and works hard to provide him or her with the best possible upbringing.

A good foster parent is also willing to learn and grow as they foster a child. Foster parents should not feel like their world is stuck and cannot continue to educate themselves while fostering.

Human beings better themselves through learning. And as a foster parent, you will grow and provide better care for the foster children if you are willing to learn and grow. This will not be possible if you are not dedicated to fostering children hence the two go hand in hand.

What Makes a Good Foster Parent

Although foster parents go under a certain form of training, this does not mean they cannot improve their knowledge of foster parenting.

As a good foster parent, you will have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make the foster child feel comfortable and safe.

7. Knowledgeable About the Foster Care System

The foster care system varies from one state to the other. A good foster parent has in-depth knowledge of the foster care system of the state where he or she lives or operates.

The foster care system enables children to be taken care of by foster parents when their biological parents are unable. A foster parent who understands the foster care system will provide quality care for a child during their stay period.

8. Knowledgeable About Child Development and Parenting

A good foster parent is knowledgeable about child development and parenting. Foster parents take care of children who are as young as 4 years. Due to this, they need to understand child development and parenting.

The duration of staying with a foster child is not fixed since it varies. But even if it’s a month, you will be required to parent that child. Since child development takes place each day, it will be taking place while the child is under your care.

Final Thoughts

Being a good foster parent requires a combination of qualities. These includes the ability to provide a safe, nurturing, and stable environment, meeting the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs, working collaboratively with the child’s birth family and other involved parties, setting boundaries and providing structure, being flexible and responsive to the child’s individual needs, offering love, patience, and support, and being able to advocate for the child.

It’s a challenging role, but a rewarding one for those who possess these qualities and are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children in foster care


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