5 Essential Qualities of a Foster Parent

Fostering a child is a life-changing thing—both for the child and the foster family. A child who has her life ripped apart before she even gets to kindergarten needs so many things, both material and intangible.

It’s up to the foster parents to provide those things for as long as the child is in foster care. Think of how a child will benefit infinitely from time spent in your loving home, surrounded by warmth and smiling faces.

  • Desire. But it’s not easy. Being a foster parent takes a lot of qualities that not everyone has; the first being desire. You have to want to enter the world of fostering children and want to be a foster parent. You aren’t doing it because you think it’ll be fun or you’ve always wanted to take a child to the zoo. Foster parenting is much more than that.
  • Love. You need lots of love. You’re not borrowing this child; you’re not renting her. You are becoming the primary caretaker for a beautiful life, and her well-being is your responsibility. The best part? Being a foster parent is fun. You do get to take her to the zoo, the pool, the park and the movies. You’ll show her what it’s like to live in a loving home.
  • Financial stability. Before resolving to foster a child, adequately research what your costs will be. Don’t shortchange yourself or the child. It’s a very cost-consuming endeavor being a foster parent, and you want enough overhead to run your home in addition to providing care for the child. Don’t trade your mortgage payment for her clothes.

  • Open heart and mind. White, blond and blue-eyed girls are the most popular children to adopt. But there are thousands of beautiful children out there who need homes. They don’t all share the same beliefs, backgrounds and ideas as you. And that’s what makes them beautiful. Be open to learning about another culture, it’s what the child will identify with most as she ages, and it’s one of the most important things she should know about her origins. Explore it with her and form an unbreakable bond.
  • Household with an active lifestyle. Don’t just say you want to go to the zoo, the pool, the park and the movies. Get outside and do it all. Show your foster child something new. Hey, show yourself something new and learn right alongside your child.

Foster parenting is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. You’re literally saving a life—and loving it.