What is it like to be a foster parent?
By Erin Heflin
Here at DePelchin we have a saying: It takes a special type of person to be a foster parent. The goal of foster care is to ultimately reunite children with their birth families. Therefore, to be a person who opens their heart and their home to the amazing and sometimes troubled children that come through foster care is no easy feat. If you think fostering might be the right fit for you and your family, we encourage you to read on and learn more about what it takes to be a foster parent.
What types of people are foster parents?
Everyday people just like you are fostering children. You DO NOT need to be rich or married to be a foster parent. You DO need to want to provide a nurturing, safe and loving environment to a child.
Is it expensive to foster or adopt?
No. Foster parents receive monthly financial support to help care for each child in their home, and in many cases funds are available to help adoptive families cover costs as well. DePelchin does not charge any fees to adopt a child from foster care.
Do you have to be married or own a home to foster or adopt?
No. Foster or adoptive parents can be married or single, young or retired. Even if renting a house or an apartment, you are eligible to foster or adopt a child if you can provide a safe, nurturing environment with adequate space for children.
What types of children need loving homes?
Children of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds need loving foster and adoptive homes.
The majority of the children DePelchin serves are:
- 2-17 years old
- members of a sibling group
- members of an ethnic minority group or
- children facing physical, mental or emotional challenges due to past abuse or neglec
How can I handle the emotional or behavioral issues these children may have?
DePelchin provides foster and adoptive families thorough and on-going training on how to best care for children with special emotional needs. We also offer families a wide range of support services through our caring team of social workers, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.
As a foster parent, what if I grow attached to the child in my care?
Bonding with a child in your care is a good thing! The love and support you show a child can make a lasting difference in his or her life. Yes, letting a child go may be difficult, but ultimately you will find comfort in knowing you forever changed the life of a child in need. If a foster child is available for adoption, DePelchin is uniquely equipped to help families through the adoption process.
If you think being a foster parent might be for you, then we encourage you to attend an orientation session at our main campus or at one of our satellite locations. Registration is not required to attend. View our calendar for a list of upcoming orientation sessions.