Right now, there are many thousands of children placed into out of home care. Yet, there are vastly fewer potential homes registered, creating a massive gap that contributes to children being placed outside of their home communities in shelters. When this happens to them, they lose their friends, family, schools, teachers, and connection to their community – which is critical for children living in a fostering situation.
Foster parents are direly needed right now, for children of all ages, to provide safe, nurturing, and supporting environments.
If you’re considering becoming a foster parent this year, here are a few easy steps for kick-starting the process:
- Be Prepared for All Outcomes: The commitment to being a foster parent is a permanent one. You need to understand that in many cases, fostering is not temporary. Yes, you need to provide temporary care, love, and nurturing to the children in any timeframe, but you must also be prepared to serve as the legal guardian for the children while they immerse themselves in the community. You might even need to adopt the children in fully on their journey to achieve normalcy. Be sure you understand all the implications that come with signing up as a foster parent.
- Understand Kansas Foster Types: In addition to the different demands of a foster parent, it’s also important to know that the different states contain foster types such as: family foster parents, specialized foster care, treatment foster parents, intensive foster parents, adoption foster parents, kinship foster parents, or possibly others depending on your home state. Feel free to look at a few different classification differences for states like Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- Complete Necessary Training: You need to commit to a certain amount of training before being regarded as a foster parent by many systems. For one example, the state of Kansas requires you complete 30 hours of TIPS-MAPP Training or 21 hours of TIPS-DT Training. Kansas also requires you to complete 3 hours of First Aid Training, as well as the Medication Administration and Universal precautions prior to licensure renewal each year. Lastly, you must complete a minimum of 8 hours of continuing in-service training per calendar year on subjects that promote their skills.
- Exhibit Unconditional Love: Before you make the final fostering step, you must reflect on the fact that you don’t have total control over which children at place within your home. You must be able to love unconditionally, no matter the child’s age, sex, ethnicity, debilitations, or personality types. Unconditional love is the most important thing for these children at this point in their lives.
Here at TFI, we’re happy to support you and promote success between you and the children in your home. We provide regular contact, respite, ongoing training, support groups, assistance, home visits, team meetings, and more to make sure you are reimbursed, educated, and supported throughout your foster parenting journey.