The goal of foster care is to temporarily care for a child, keep them safe, and meet their ongoing needs until it is safe to reunify them with their birth parents or other family members. Sometimes this can take a month or two; sometimes it can take a couple years.
Setting realistic expectations from the beginning is imperative. The initial goal of fostering is almost never adoption.
What foster care is:
A temporary arrangement
A safe place for a child to continue to grow
A stable environment for a child to cope with their complex feelings and trauma
An encouraging influence to participate in healthy activities and counseling
Time to let a family heal
A family decision
What foster care is not:
A cheap or easy way to adopt
A permanent arrangement
A way to fix a broken child
A way to make extra money
Foster families need to be able to work within the system to help the birth family work toward reunification. They should always remember that foster care is temporary! Fostering with the primary goal of adoption can sometimes lead to disappointment. Some families have agreed to become foster parents because they truly want to adopt and may have heard that fostering will make that process easier. Families who come into foster care with this expectation may be setting themselves up for heartbreak.
Embracing the goals of foster care is not just about providing a safe haven for children in need; it is a commitment to unlocking their full potential and helping them find their way in the world. If you’re interested in becoming a foster caregiver in Trumbull County, Ohio, contact us at (330) 372-2010 to learn more.