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Foster Parenting - An Honest Perspective
Every Child Has A Story
In a perfect world, all children would be raised by their natural parents, living with their families. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Saying otherwise, would be an outright lie!
It would be wonderful if the need for foster parents didn't exist, sadly it does.
The circumstances for a child being placed in foster care are sad, Every child wants to be with his own "mom and dad". Look around and you won't have to look far to see some of the situations that exist leading to the need for a temporary home for a child.
Some say that the foster care system is a shambles. They think that no child should be placed in foster care. What are their alternatives? They want them kept in homes where they are being abused, mentally, physically and sexually? What about situations where the parent or parents are too sick themselves to look after their child, maybe hospitalized for a time and has no family to care for the child?
Then there are children whose parent(s) die. Maybe again, there is no family member willing to step in and raise the child. Don't be too hard on those families. There are many reasons they are unable to care for the child themselves, due to finances, work situations, medical problems, dependencies, and so on. You get the picture.
Foster Parents - those terrible people
Foster parents have to go through constant training and retraining. I'm not saying this is a bad thing because it isn't. So many people seem to have the wrong impression that anyone can become a foster parent, in any situation. Not so.
As foster parents, you get regular criminal record checks and intervention checks. First Aid Training with CPR must be kept up to date.
There is much expected of you when you are a foster parent. It's a 24/7 job each and every day. Some children pass through your house quickly, while others could be there indefinitely.
Foster parents get a bad wrap. When there is a problem in one foster care situation, it affects us all. You very rarely hear of all the happy, wonderful successes there have been.
The media often portrays us as cruel people. Many say foster parents are only in it for the money. What other job pays a little under $2.00 per hour if you have one child in your care, oh yes, that $2.00 is only after you have been fostering for at least two years and have spent many, many hours taking training?
You will have many heartbreaking experiences when you are a foster parent. That just comes with the job. Many tears are shed by foster parents, as well as much stress and a lot of worrying.
Rewards and Successes
It is rewarding to see a child smile, mature and grow. You celebrate the successes. Your heart fills with joy when you see the child's self esteem growing.
You can't put a price tag on those moments. You learn to cherish the time with your foster child because you never know when they will be leaving. They teach you so much about patience and living in the moment. They remind us to appreciate what we do have and not to take things for granted.
This hub is just a brief peek into our lives as foster parents. It is challenging, hard, tiring, exhausting, frustrating and also rewarding, fun, enjoyable and helps us keep everything in perspective.