What is a Foster Parent? Things You Need to Know

What is a Foster Parent?

Many couples nowadays are postponing starting a family till later in life. Mainly because they are focused on their careers or self-development and getting to a finically stable place in their lives, but as they get older and their lives and finances stabilize, they start looking into starting a family and taking care of a child. 

If you are one of those people and are interested in passing on your knowledge, resources, and love to a child in need, consider becoming a foster parent or adopting. If you aren't sure what is a foster parent exactly, keep reading to find out more about foster care and adoption. 

What Is a Foster Parent?

There are hundreds of thousands of children and youth in foster care in the United States. They have been placed in the foster care system for various reasons, either by their biological parents or kinship caregiver. A child in foster care is looking to be placed into a loving, kind, and generous family who would take on the responsibility of taking care of them.

These foster kids have been through a lot in their previous lives, with terrible childhoods filled with strife, misery, and poverty. That's why not only will they need more understanding foster parents but also a lot more love and quality time with you. Foster care is meant to be temporary legal custody for a child while the birth parents find their feet and may go through special training and support to make them successful parents.

Child welfare agencies and sites, like FosterVA, have many youths waiting for suitable foster parents. There's no specific time that a foster child will be returned home. Still, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the average time is two years in foster care, with the average age being eight years old. So prepare yourself that you may need to care for them perhaps until they are 18 years old and can be independent enough to go on their own if no Adoptive parents can be found in the child welfare system. 

In some cases, and always are preference is to find a family friend to help a relative to be a foster home for them this is called Kinship care, and your CPA can help with this process as well.

Why Should You Become a Foster Parent?

One primary reason why children enter foster care is that their home environments are abusive, neglectful, or harmful in some way. In Virginia alone, 5,792 children were found in situations of abuse and neglect in 2020. 

That's why it's so important for folks like you, who are stable financially and emotionally and who can give a good safe environment for foster children to live in, to take on the role of foster parents. Without your generosity of spirit and your love of duty, these children would keep on suffering in terrible situations.

The local Department of Social Services has custody of these children in group homes and needs the support of Child Placing Agencies like Extra Special Parents to find and support foster families and complete all the pre-service training and the home study.

How Does Fostering To Adopt Work?

In many cases, the child and the foster parent's attachment grows solid, and the bond is solid. Foster parents adopt the children they are fostering. In Virginia, 40% of children in Foster care who are adopted are adopted by their foster parents.

This is great because that means these children will have a loving, supportive family behind them, something many of them have never had. The Adoption process is seamless from fostering to adoption. The team stays the same, and we help with paperwork and the complete journey to being the legal parents of your child.

Are You Ready To Begin Your Foster Parent Journey?

So many children are waiting for their foster parents. When you look at what is a foster parent or who is a foster parent, it is YOU! You have all the traits we look for in a Foster Parent if you read down here. You want to learn, Want to help, and seek out experts to help them become great foster parents. We believe that Foster parents have thought about this journey for a while, sometimes years. But when the time is right (not perfect, that time will never happen), but right, you will start to explore and then make the call to us.

We are in no rush. We are ready when the time has to be right for you and your family. Fostering is a serious journey. Virginia trusts you with a child's life, but you are trustworthy. Now that you know what a foster parent is, you are ready to take on this responsibility and give back in your way. 

Yes, being a foster parent isn't the easiest role in the world. Still, with FosterVA and the Extra Special Parents team, you will receive training and 24/7 support throughout your journey. You are not alone, so contact FosterVA and get fostering today!

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