Things to Know About Foster Care and Foster Parenting in Shasta County
There are plenty of opinions and preconceived notions, as well as a lot of questions, that people have about the foster care system and what it’s like to be a foster parent. If you have any interest in foster parenting in Shasta County yourself, there is quite a bit to learn about the entire process of opening up your home and expanding your family, but there are a few things in particular that anyone considering taking on this role should really know beforehand to gain a better understanding of foster care.
Foster Care Placements Aren’t Always Permanent
One of the most important elements of the child welfare system to consider is that foster care placements are generally meant to be a temporary solution until it is felt that a child can safely be returned to their birth parents. While foster adoption may sometimes wind up being the end result, it isn’t the norm nor the ultimate goal, which can be very hard on foster parents who become attached to the children who have entered their lives. Though it can be emotional, no matter how long or brief your placement with each foster child may last, you’re making a significant difference in their futures by showing them love and stability.
There Are Never Enough Foster Parents to Go Around
Many people believe there are enough foster parents in their area to take care of all the children that need help, but it’s simply not true. With thousands of children in the system and more entering every day, there is actually a continual shortage of homes, which means there are numerous youth who have to grow up in less than desirable places, such as group homes, state institutions and shelters without ever knowing the comfort of living in a real family environment.
The Criteria For Becoming a Foster Parent is More Attainable Than You Think
Foster parenting isn’t open to just anyone who applies, but at the same time, the requirements aren’t as strict as you might think they are. It’s common to believe the criteria to include a large disposable income, a two parent household, home ownership and experience raising children, but in reality, foster parents are welcomed from all walks of life. As long as you are at least 21 years of age, don’t have a criminal background and can complete a home study and training with success there is a strong possibility for you to be able to have a child placed in your care.
There May Be Difficult Times Ahead, But They’re Always Worth It
Foster parenting doesn’t come without its challenges, whether it involves the child themself, the biological parents or the child welfare system, but it’s also one of the most rewarding actions you can take for yourself, your family and a child who needs your support. Patience, empathy and determination will see you through any difficult situations.
Keep these things in mind as you start to research all your options in Shasta County foster care and foster parenting.