Fostering a child is an enormous responsibility. After all, you’re taking someone else’s child into your home, and you need to make sure they are comfortable, safe, and well looked after. Becoming a foster parent isn’t just about having a spare room; it’s about genuinely wanting to help kids who have come from unsafe home environments.
To do this well, make sure you avoid these mistakes when fostering children.
Not Use the Support Available
As a foster parent, you should seek the help of your foster agency when necessary. Otherwise, a small problem could turn into a large one. As soon as you have an issue or a question, get in contact with your social worker for appropriate direction and to prevent the problem from escalating. By fostering in Yorkshire, you will have all the support you could need as a foster parent.
Forget About Rules
You might think that being lenient with rules is best for kids who’ve been through something traumatic, but the opposite is true. Forgetting to place and enforce rules will leave foster kids without routine, stability, and responsibility – three things that are crucial for their growth. Be sure to establish rules soon after foster kids enter your home and reinforce them when necessary.
Make Empty Promises
Don’t make any promises to your foster children that you cannot keep. Don’t tell them that you’ll take them abroad, that you’ll buy them an expensive gift, or that you will adopt them unless plans are one-hundred-percent in place. It could lead to a disappointed, upset child who will never trust your word again.
When you are assigned a foster kid, you do not meet them until they come into your home. There is simply no time for that. That is why you must not hold expectations before they arrive. Don’t expect them to be talkative, quiet, talented, affectionate – anything! All children are different and all are worthy of care and attention. By holding no expectations, you’ll become a more open-minded, caring foster parent.
Be a Pushover
Many of the children you will foster will have gone through truly difficult challenges. That doesn’t mean they should get away with everything, though – this will only lead to worse behavior down the road. Be strong and stick to your word, and your foster children will respect you more. For example, if you say no to chocolate before dinner, don’t change your mind because of pleading.
Take on More than You Can Handle
When meeting with your social worker, you will come to an agreement that suits you. It’s crucial not to overestimate how many foster kids or what type of emergencies you can handle. Be realistic, and you’ll have an easier time being an excellent foster parent to the right kid.
Lastly, you should not co-sleep with your foster kid. They must have their own room with their own bed where they sleep. It is a commonly made mistake, so it’s important to know beforehand that co-sleeping is something you must avoid.