Jun 04, 2018
Fostering children is a rewarding and life-changing experience. There are many components involved in being a great foster parent and above all else, it's absolutely imperative that you are completely honest with yourself about whether or not you are ready to foster a child or children.
Consider the reason(s) why you wish to become a foster parent. Are you physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally prepared to deal with the sometimes heart-breaking circumstances that can land in your living room? How well do you handle stress? Do you have an adequate support system in place before taking on the demanding role of foster parent?
There are a slew of considerations to think on before choosing to provide a foster home for the thousands of children in need of a loving, temporary home but if you've done an honest evaluation of your preparedness and willingness to take that step, here are the next steps to take.
What you need to have in your home
Whether you rent or own a home or apartment, and are married, single, divorced, or widowed, the State of Colorado accepts applications from any individuals who meet the above criteria but there are additional necessities your foster children will need before you become a foster parent.
Many of the children who are in the foster care system are coming from a place of abuse or neglect and often they will arrive with very little to call their own so it's important that your home is prepared for just about anything.
A separate room for children.
Whether you rent or own a home or apartment, your dwelling needs to have an extra room and space adequate for a child.
Personal Hygiene Items
Be sure you have extra toothbrushes, combs, and toiletries for each sex and various ages of children.
Many children in the foster system come from dysfunctional families with drug or alcohol abuse so it's important that you use proper safety measures to ensure access to harmful chemicals or medicines be out of reach.
Because of the sensitive nature of taking in a traumatized child, it's helpful to have cozy things that they can embrace once they move in. Having a selection of comfy blankets or teddy bears can be an effective way to help break the ice with new children and help them feel safe enough to settle in.
When you take in a foster child, you'll have a foster care team that includes:
Make sure you have a list of all of the key players involved in your foster home, including social workers, doctors, therapists, and other key figures and their contact information.
How to Apply for Fostering a Child (First Steps)
It may seem like a complicated process but if becoming a foster parent is important to you, there's no time like the present to begin the process.
The first step is to complete and submit an application package. Once you've done this, you can begin with the rest of the requirements. All told, the process involves a cost of up to $65 if you go through Kids Crossing. We ask that foster parent candidates get certified in CPR, obtain a physical, and make sure all pets in your home have proof of vaccinations.
For more information about how you can become a qualified foster parent, contact us and talk with one of our many experts about how you can start today.