How does foster care work?

The prospect of becoming a foster parent can be quite intimidating, especially if you are new to the world of caring. Foster parents are called “parents” because they not only provide food, shelter, care and love, as good parents would for their own children, but also have to deal with the special circumstances of the foster child. Sources: 4

Their primary role is to help reunite the child with his / her birth family, and the state maintains legal guardianship over the children. Serving as a foster parent usually means working closely with the foster care authority on a regular basis, but often it also means regular contact with a child’s biological family. Sources: 4, 7

Close co-operation with a carer can include taking the child to counselling as well as other services such as physiotherapy, physical education and counselling. Sources: 7

Raising a foster child can be particularly difficult because parents have lost temporary custody of their child. Children placed in foster care are often traumatised because they have lived with their biological family for a long time. The child can remain in the foster family while the biological parents work to solve the problems that brought the child into the care in the first place. Sources: 5, 7

Faced with these challenges, the DSS Agency is required to select and certify foster parents who can withstand the various pressures so that they can serve children they do not know. Sources: 5

Despite these barriers, placement to a non-relative family is the most common type of placement. According to the US Department of Children and Family Services (DSS), 45 percent of foster children live with non-relative foster families. In most cases, these are children who are unable to stay at home due to insecure parenting or home environment. Sources: 5, 9

Sibling groups and young children are referred to this level of care, as their parents work on solving problems that lead to the placement of foster places. During this time there are frequent family visits, and the reunification of the child with the family is at the forefront of the team. Sources: 9

Sometimes it is determined that the child cannot return home after all, and the foster family can be the first consideration for permanent resources. The foster parents work with a team that includes a social worker, a paediatrician, social workers and other family members. They offer the children a temporary home so that they can be reunited with their families or, if this is not possible, adopted. Sources: 0, 9

However, the most important role of a foster parent is to look after the welfare of the child and to involve it in the means of reunification or adoption. There is no doubt that it takes a lot of patience and sacrifice to be foster parents, but it is important to help children feel safe and loved. In order to become a foster or adoptive parent, you must be a foster parent for at least two years. Sources: 0, 3

Children in foster care have experienced great losses and traumas and need someone willing to go with them and help them heal. They must be accompanied by their foster parents, adoptive parents and other family members. Sources: 3

Promotion is not without difficulty, but many say it is one of the best and most rewarding things they have ever done. A foster parent who is willing to take on a sibling group of three or more children across an age range is urgently needed. Sources: 3, 8

An important role for a foster parent is to work with the child’s birth family to help them return home. And if this does not succeed in committing to the education of the children under adoption or guardianship. By acting as mentors to the family, foster parents help the children maintain contact with their birth families. A foster family is likely to accept and agree to be in the same community with a child and foster children for the rest of their lives. Sources: 8

Regular care involves regular visits to the nursing home where the children will live until the biological family is reunited with them or the child is approved for adoption. Sources: 2

Some children need more specialised care due to medical, emotional or developmental problems. Therapeutic foster parents receive a special license certifying their ability to care for children with special needs. Sources: 2

The MDCPS can help you find a local therapy provider or get a listing for a Therapeutic Foster Care agency at 1-800-821-9157. Care is for parents who cannot take care of themselves or whose need for care has been noticed by the staff of the Youth Welfare Office. Children can live in foster care for up to six months or up to two years. Sources: 1, 2

How long a child stays with a foster family depends on the family situation of the child, but there are some options for children in your community. In some cases the care lasts one to three years, in others longer. For some children the stay is short, for others it is longer. A child in short-term care may stay between one and 30 days, often for several months. 



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