What Defines A Successful Foster Parent?

Good foster parents understand that all children have unique personalities and need to be treated as individuals. With that being said, there are certain characteristics that foster parents want to implore to provide the best environment for their foster children. Here are 3 traits that many successful foster parents have in common.


Have Good Listening Skills

Children that are placed in foster homes have typically endured significant struggles or even traumatic events in their young lives. They often carry a lot of emotional weights and often don’t know how to express it. Some children clam up, while others act out. Whichever expression they use, they are no doubt hurting inside. Being a good foster parent means that you will be there to listen when they are ready to talk. It doesn’t mean that you must have answers to all their questions. Just listening and showing you care can go a long way.


Be Understanding

As we’ve already stated, foster children are often going through a lot emotionally.  Many foster children may seem moody or even defiant at times. This is common and expected considering all they have been through. As a foster parent it would be helpful for you to understand this and be willing to discuss potential situations rationally while keeping your emotions in check.  Much of the time foster children are acting out because they don’t know what else to do. Offering your support, along with accessing counseling services can help children turn the corner and realize that their lives can get better.


Provide Structure

Good foster parents also understand that they are there to be a temporary parent. Foster parents are assigned to protect and to keep children safe during this transitional period. The best way to do this is to provide structure and rules to follow. Like all children, foster children may buck the rules and act as if they do not need the structure. This is far from the truth. Structure and rules show children that you truly care as a parent and want to make sure they are safe. Structure methods may vary but having set standards is a good way to teach children discipline for the future.


Being a good foster parent is a rewarding job but can be difficult at the same time. Understanding what traits will make you a better foster parent helps when trying to provide a quality living environment. For more tips and to learn more about becoming a foster parent you can contact Children First Foster Family Agency.

Author: Children First FFA

Published: December 15, 2018

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