The orphan crisis is a global tragedy. It exists overseas and in America. Right now, there are thousands of children in foster care in the United States. These children live without the security and love of a permanent family, and there is something you can do to help.
As a foster parent, you can provide care and support to these precious children. Here are five steps toward becoming a foster parent:
1. Contact Your State
Find your state’s DHS site to research the immediate steps needed to become a foster parent. States have different residency, employment, and application requirements for individuals and families hoping to foster or adopt. It’s important to evaluate these requirements first. Click here to read Show Hope blog post, “3 Things Foster Parents Want You To Know.”
2. Choose An Agency
As a foster parent, you are able to select an agency that you are comfortable working with. Reach out to other families who are fostering in the area to gather recommendations for an agency. Look online for support groups in your area—many foster families are connected with one another. Finding a group on the front end will allow for immediate support as you transition into fostering.
3. Set Up A Timeline
Work closely with your agency to create a timeline. Foster care and adoption require a lot of paperwork, and it’s best to have a game plan for tackling documents efficiently and thoroughly. Make sure you are able to attend any orientation meetings, and plan to send completed paperwork in early to account for any delays in the mail.
4. Prepare Your Home
The home inspections are lengthy and thorough for all prospective foster parents. A licensing agent will complete the home inspection with on-site visits and interviews. Be sure to prepare recommendation letters from friends, family, and co-workers, and make sure that you’ve studied the expectations and requirements before the home inspection begins.
5. Stay In Touch
Once the home inspection is completed and you are placed with a foster child, it’s important to stay in touch with the peers and resources that you’ve already found. As a new foster parent, or as you are waiting to adopt, you will need the support of mentors and people around you. Keep close friends informed and attend any trainings or support groups that are offered through your agency. Click here to read our Show Hope blog post about pursuing adoption through foster care.
Show Hope is actively working to restore hope to vulnerable children. As a foster parent, you would be on the front lines of these efforts. By taking the time to support and foster a child, you are participating in God’s plan to restore hope!