How Can I Become a Foster Parent?

Photo Courtesy: Thiago Cerqueira/Unsplash

The National Foster Parent Association describes foster parenting as "a protective service to children and their families when families can no longer care for their children." Issues like misuse of drugs and alcohol, poverty and a parent’s mental illness can sometimes make it unsafe for a child to stay in their biological parents’ home. Sometimes when this happens, the child moves in to live with a foster family, which involves an adult temporarily providing care for the child when their birth parents can’t.

When you become a foster parent, you may find yourself caring for children ranging in age from a few days old up to 21, and they may be in your home for a few days or over a year. Your goals are to provide for the child's needs, including educational needs, medical needs, day-to-day needs and special circumstances. The specific process for becoming a foster parent is different from state to state, but almost every journey includes these same basic steps.