What it Takes to be a Foster Parent
There is no doubt that being a foster parent is a difficult task: one that requires time, patience, energy, stability, support, encouragement, financial means, and more. As if these things were not enough, fostering also requires more.
Before a foster child comes to live with you, there are many requirements that you must complete.
You complete a packet of forms about you and your family,
including a medical record completed by your doctor.
A Fire and DHEC Inspection are completed of your home.
You attend two days of training.
Your licensing worker comes to your home at least two times.
You are interviewed thoroughly for the home study document.
It is a lot.
For that reason, many people choose not to foster.
What that doesn’t take into consideration is the payoff. It is worth completing the requirements because you can change a child’s life forever!
Here are some of the most common reasons we hear for people that choose not to become foster parents. Although we believe that not everyone is called to be a foster parent, there are many that have not yet answered the call.
5 Reasons NOT to Become a Foster Parent… and Why You Still Can
1. It would hurt too much to give the child back
Yes, it is true that the pain may be unbearable. Many of our foster families share stories about how hard it was to watch a child go home to their biological family. But they also tell us about the impact they made on the children’s lives for the time they were with them. Their stories are priceless. Stories of children saying, “I love you”, and being amazed the first time they go to the beach because they have never seen anything like it, or moments of tucking the children in bed at night and singing Christian songs and praying together. Our foster parents describe the pain as great, but the joy as greater.
2. I’m afraid how traumatized children entering my home will affect my kids
It is important to talk to your children about fostering and make sure they are on board with the idea. There are ways that you can protect your family, like choosing what age child you are comfortable with. Although there is a need for families to accept children of all ages, there are more infants and toddlers coming into foster care than any other age category. You might consider starting with younger children or doing respite and emergency foster care (short-term placements of children for a weekend or a week at a time). The process is the same for respite, and it is a huge need right now.
3. I’m single and I don’t think I can
Although it is tough to take on children without a spouse, it can be done. Miracle Hill has several single foster parents right now. With the support of family, friends, and people at church, it is possible. We encourage you to consider talking with those in your life to see what help they can provide you. In fact, some children in foster care do better in homes with only a single parent, as the child gets more one-on-one attention.
4. I am not “well-off”
You do not need to be financially well-off to be a foster parent. There is a small stipend for foster parents, in addition to resources to help meet the needs of the child. Miracle Hill provides vouchers for children’s clothing at our thrift stores, in addition to other materials on occasion. Children in foster care are also eligible for ABC vouchers, WIC, and Medicaid. There are some small fees associated with getting your home ready for fostering, but the process is by no means, expensive. Our staff will work with you to help you manage the cost.
5. Now is just not the right time
Many people envision fostering one day, when the time is right. There are over 4,000 children in foster care in South Carolina; almost 2,000 are in the Upstate. Children are entering foster care daily and need somewhere to go. There is no perfect time to foster, but there will always be a need. We encourage you to consider if now is the time for you to start the process.
We asked our foster parents the following questions about their fostering experience.
“What is your favorite thing about being a foster parent?”
“What is your favorite memory with a foster child?”
“What has been the most challenging obstacle you have faced as a foster parent?”
Watch the #MHFosterTalk videos Here!
There is no doubt that the cost is high. But in exchange, children are given the love, attention, stability, and model of a Christian family, which will impact them for a lifetime.
Would you consider signing up to foster today?
Miracle Hill Ministries licenses Christian foster parents in the Upstate. We pray with our families and provide vital support throughout the process. You can view our doctrinal statement Here.
To start the process, complete the Inquiry Form Here.