All About Foster Care and Foster Parenting
By Carrie Craft, About.com Guide
- Making the Decision to Be a Foster Parent
- First Steps
- Working with Birth Families
- Helping Your Foster Child Settle In
- Foster Parenting Challenges and Special Concerns
- Managing Holidays and Other Special Occasions
- Share Your Foster Parenting Advice with Others
Making the Decision to Be a Foster Parent
Here's a fun statistic. Most people spend 12 to 18 months thinking about foster care before taking the steps to becoming licensed. So, what is keeping you from taking those first steps?
- Foster Care 101
- Is Foster Care for You?
- What Is PS-MAPP?
- What Is a Foster Care Subsidy?
- What Does it Mean to Foster a Child?
- What Does the Word 'Foster' Mean?
- 10 Things You Can Do Now to Be Ready to Do Foster Care Later
- To Add a Child or Not to Add a Child - Timing May be the Answer
- Should I Do Foster Care?
- 10 Ways to Help Children in Foster Care
- Reluctant to Be a Dad
There is a process to almost everything and foster parenting is no different. Learn the basic steps to becoming a foster parent, how to welcome a child into your home, and work with social workers.
- How to Become a Foster Parent
- Questions to Ask Your Social Worker Before Taking a Foster Child Placement
- Be Prepared to Participate and Work with Social Workers
- Understanding Grief and Loss in Foster Children
- Meeting Your New Foster Child
Working with Birth Families
We are often called as foster parents to mentor the birth family so that the children can return home. This is part of the foster care process, a source of frustration, and often a source of joy in seeing families reunited.
- When Foster Parents First Meet Birth Family
- How to Mentor a Birth Parent at a Parent Teacher Meeting
- Birth Parent Visitation During a School Day
- When Birth Family Can't Make it to a Parent Teacher Meeting
- Foster Parenting and Potty Training - Working Together
- What Are the Steps to Family Reunification within the Foster Care System?
- Mentoring Birth Parents During Medical Appointments for Foster Children
Helping Your Foster Child Settle In
I remember when we went and picked up our first foster child. We were so nervous and really, really cautious and over protective. Those first few days we really didn't know what we were doing, but we wanted to do everything perfectly. We quickly learned that that wasn't possible, so we just decided to do our best.
- Meeting Your New Foster Child
- How to Set Up a Closet & Bedroom for an Older Adoptive or Foster Child
- Bare Necessities: Basic Baby Needs
- Preparing Your Children for Foster Care
- How to Create a Connection with Your Foster Child
- 10 Things to Do Before Sending a Foster Child Back-to-School
- Establishing Yourself as a Parent
- Foster Parenting Advice for a Foster Child's First Day of School
Foster Parenting Challenges and Special Concerns
While training families to become foster parents, the concerns are usually the same. Here are some of the top challenges and special concerns of foster parenting, and ideas on how to handle them.
- The Challenges of Foster Care
- 10 Things to Do When Kids Fight
- When Asked to Become a Foster Parent to More Than One Baby or Toddler
- How to Create a Safety Plan
- Foster Parenting and Potty Training – Working Together
- Caring for Your African American or Biracial Child's Hair
- 14 Ways to Focus on Culture
- 10 Surefire Ways to Destroy a Perfectly Good Marriage with Foster Care
- Teaching Foster Children How to Answer Nosy or Rude Questions
- What Is a Cover Story and How Can It Help Foster Children?
- What to Share in a Parent Teacher Meeting
- Should You Take a Foster Child with You on Family Vacation?
Managing Holidays and Other Special Occasions
Foster care is a year-round job. Find tips for helping children adjust over the holidays as well as partnering with birth parents through holidays and other special occasions.
- Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for The Late October Foster Care Placements
- Halloween Ideas to Make the Holiday Safer and More Fun for Your Child
- Managing Halloween Treats for Foster or Adopted Children
- Fall Fun for Foster and Adopted Children
- What to Do if Your Foster Child Can't Celebrate Halloween
- Preparing Foster Children and Newly Adopted Children for Halloween Fun
Share Your Foster Parenting Advice with Others
Now it's your turn as a foster parent to share your wisdom with other foster parents. No matter where you are in the world, foster children seem to be the same. Share some of your wit, tips and tricks with other foster parents. You may have the exact answer someone is looking for.
- What Advice Would You Offer to Those Considering Foster Care?
- How are you mentoring birth parents to work with their child's school?
- What does foster parenting mean to you?
- What hurtful questions and comments have you heard about your foster child?
- How have you created a connection with your foster child?
- You know you're a foster father when....
- What parenting skills have you found helpful as a foster parent?
- Have you successfully included a foster child on your family vacation?
- If I could change the foster care system I would...
- How Do You Stop Sibling Rivalry and Fighting Kids?
- What's Your Best or Favorite Halloween Moment with a Foster Child?