It's so easy to come up with a long list of New Year's resolutions. While each resolution is a need and important, the list can become a bit overwhelming. One technique I learned was to focus on a different goal each month. So with that in mind, here are 12 New Year's Resolutions for foster parents broken down by month.
January - I will continue my education as a foster parent by keeping current on my training hours. I have learned that as my foster children grow, different needs may arise and I want to be prepared to help them through difficult times.
February - I will continue to build my relationship with my foster children by working on our attachment. I know that bonding takes time, and I'm willing to allow our bond to grow and strengthen over time.
March - I will explore strengthening lines of communication with my child's birth family and strengthening the relationship, if approved by the case manager or social worker over the case.Knowing that every situation is different, I will keep my child's best interest in mind and if contact with family is not a healthy choice I will explore other opportunities for my child to connect to his birth family through a lifebook.
April - I will help my child connect to his heritage by exploring his culture and incorporating different aspects of his culture into our core family traditions.
May - I will explore the different resources available in my community including therapy, baby-sitters, day care and after school programs because I know that having available, helpful resources will be a great support to my foster home.
June - I will look for blogs, support groups and foster care forums where I can connect with other foster parents. I know how important it is to learn from other parents.
July - I will work with my foster child to help her answer the often rude questions that people ask about foster care I too will work on being prepared to answer questions from my family, friends and community while maintaining confidentiality.
August - I will help my child start the school year right by preparing the school for my foster child's special needs.
September - I will help my extended family attach to my foster child, especially my parents because I know the importance of having grandparents in a child's life. If my parents are not available, I will seek older friends to be surrogate grandparents to my foster child.
November - I will remember to meet my own needs in an effort to avoid burning out. I will rely on respite foster care and time alone to keep me going. This way I can continue to help children in need.
December - I will reflect on a year's worth of learning. I will continue to set goals for myself and my family while preparing for a wonderful holiday season.