If you are considering foster care, you might not know about all of the benefits of being a foster parent. You can find those and many other helpful tips for foster parents here.
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Benefits of Being a Foster Parent
To say that being a foster parent has changed my life and my family would be a huge understatement. Though there are pros and cons to the foster care process, the benefits of fostering for my family have far outweighed the struggles.
Foster Parenting Will Strengthen Your Marriage
The idea that fostering a child can will strengthen your marriage may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. How can something that can cause stress and strain on a relationship actually strengthen it? That is exactly how. Providing foster care for a challenging child or dealing with challenging biological parents will expose weak points in your marriage and force you to work on them.
The foster parenting process will also force you and your spouse to work together to accomplish a big goal. Struggling together toward a common goal grows bonds and solidifies a relationship.
The home study process is also a growing process for many marriages. Writing the home study autobiography can teach you things about your spouse you never knew.
Foster care can grow your family.
For many couples, like us, foster care is an avenue to grow the family. Many families struggle with infertility or other issues that prevent having biological children and foster care provides a means to have children.
Foster care provides valuable parenting training.
The training provided during the foster care licensing process is quite extensive in dealing with children who have experienced trauma. However, much information in basic parenting techniques and philosophy is also provided.
In addition to the training provided during the initial licensing process and home study, the real world experience of parenting a variety of children from diverse backgrounds is absolutely invaluable.
Foster parenting effects generational change.
Providing foster care allows you to intervene in generational cycles of abuse, trauma, addiction, poverty, and many others. These cycles are perpetuated in the lives of children because they know no other way. When you bring a child into your home, you show them a different way of life, a new normal, so to speak. Something as simple as your daily schedule can shatter what a child sees as an inevitable outcome to their life.
Breaking those cycles changes things not only for the child in your home, but for generations to come. You are showing that child there is a different way to live, and a different way to raise and care for their own children.
Foster care builds strong families.
No institution has come under more attack in recent years than the family. The divorce rate is soaring and families are estranged for a multitude of reasons. Children, particularly those in foster care are looking for a group to fit into, a family.
Not only will the experience of fostering strengthen your family by pulling them together to accomplish a common goal. Providing foster care will cast a vision for a strong future family for a foster child.
Foster care provides a faster route to adoption.
Over half of the children who are adopted in the United States are adopted from the foster care system. Families who have decided to grow their family through adoption often consider fostering because of the number of children in the system who need homes.
Foster care provides an economical way to adopt.
The cost of adoption through the foster care system is minimal to nothing at all to the foster parent whereas private adoption, either domestic or international, carries a significant financial burden.
Foster parenting has a ripple effect.
By becoming a foster parent, you have the opportunity to influence how those around you view foster care, foster children and other foster parents. Foster care is frequently in the news and all too frequently presented in a negative light. The headlines often highlight the poor outcomes, the struggles with dysfunction, the disruptions in bonds and relationships and the adult maladjustment You becoming a foster parent and producing positive change and impact in the life of a child, and helping that child succeed will give first hand positive experience of foster care to those around you.
This produces a ripple effect and opens the minds of others to the possibility of fostering a child.
There are financial benefits to foster care.
Making money should never be our primary motivation to foster a child. Honestly, there is no amount of money that could ever make some of the struggles worth it, and I would venture to say that if money is your motivation, you will never make it as a foster parent. In the very least, you will not be a good one.
I would also add that the amount of money provided in the monthly stipend for a foster child is not enough to cover more than the needs of the child, if you are doing it right and investing in the child.
However, if you are gifted in compassion and caring for children, foster parenting may be a way for you to translate those into a career of sorts, just like a stay-at-home mom. Clearly, doing a good job of being a foster parent, just like parenting, is a full time job.