Foster care remains one of the most important services in the world, giving kids a chance at a normal life with a loving, positive foster family. Fostering definitely has a huge impact on your daily life. Many of the changes you and your family will face are unique to foster children.
Let’s take a look at some of the unique ways fostering a child will affect your life.
- Needs and behavior: No two foster children will have gone through the same experiences. Understand that each foster child has his or her own set of needs. Many have gone through abuse or neglect, which may cause them to exhibit behaviors that may seem disturbing, abnormal, or annoying. These behaviors can potentially have a negative impact on other kids in your home. Fostering a child will change the atmosphere of your home. Processing feelings and working through inappropriate behaviors requires a large commitment. Be prepared to give up peaceful nights and weekends to spend more time working with your foster child.
- Social workers: Social workers will visit your home at least once a month to see how you, your family, and the foster child are adjusting. You are required to let them into your home. Several workers and team members will walk through your home during these visits. If you plan to foster to adopt, these visits will help the state determine if you are fit to fully adopt your foster child in the future.
- Scheduling: With a slew of new appointments and social worker visits, it’s expected that your schedule will see some frequent fluctuations. At the same time, your foster kids need to have a consistent schedule. They need to go to school and be picked up at the same time. You need to make room for homework. Dinner should be ready at around the same time every night. They need to be home and ready for bed at a certain time each night. Don’t expect many mornings where you get to sleep in, especially if you are fostering babies.
- Travel and Recreation: You may need to get permission to travel with your foster child, depending on the distance you travel and whether you cross state lines. This is as simple as a call to a social worker for daytrips, but traveling out of state may require permission from the court. In terms of recreation, foster kids are not allowed to participate in certain activities that may be considered risky without permission. This includes skiing, boating, and certain sports. While this doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit, it does limit any spontaneous trips and activities.