What is Foster Care

Foster care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by the State for children who are unable to stay with their families. Fostered children may live with relatives or with unrelated foster parents.

Caregiving can also refer to placement arrangements such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living.

What is Foster Care

Many of us have heard of the foster care system. Much of what we hear focuses on negative aspects of parenting and foster parents. Some of what we heard was untrue.

What is meant by a system of care is: a temporary arrangement in which adults care for a child or children whose biological parents are unable to care for them. Parenting isn't where bad kids go. This is where children go when their parents cannot, for various reasons, take care of them.

Care can be informal or arranged through courts or social service agencies. The goal of a child in the care system is usually reunification with the biological family, but this can be changed to adoption if it is seen in the child's best interest. While parenting is temporary, adoption is permanent.

Adoption from the foster care system can occur in two ways. Foster Adoption or Fost-Adoption, is a form of adoption where a child is placed in a house as a foster child, with the hope that the child will be legally free and adopted by his foster parents. Some children are not adopted by their adoptive parents. Their birth parents' rights have been revoked, and they are legally free to adopt.

In the past, the role of foster parents was often considered only temporary. And it remains true that slightly more than half of the children who enter orphanages are reunited with their biological parents. Foster parents are often asked to support these endeavors - including facilitating visits and attending trials - and should always be prepared to accept the loss of a child who returns to birth or is placed with another relative when found to be in his or her best interest.

Today, however, members of the child welfare community increasingly view parenting as an important step towards adoption. Many of the children who were not reunited with their biological families were adopted by their adoptive parents. And even when children can return to their homes or be adopted by other families, foster families often maintain contact with the children.

Become a successful adoptive parent

Like other parents, foster parents will inevitably face situations and challenges that they feel they are not ready to handle. Becoming a successful foster parent requires flexibility and a willingness to learn and develop new skills along the way.

Unlike biological parents, foster parents receive training before they welcome children into their homes and support from social workers and other professionals throughout the process. Foster parents often also have access to rest care programs and seek support through local organizations, such as churches, and online support groups.

Types of parenting

In many cases, the foster parents are the primary parents who are working full time on a temporary basis - as long as the children stay with them. The amount of time that foster parents spend, and the training they receive, varies according to the type of care they provide.

Other types of parenting include:

Tough treatment. Every parent needs rest. Although the care provider intervenes to give foster parents the rest they need - from a few hours to a weekend or more - usually on a regular schedule.

Emergency or urgent care. Foster parents agree to be called and accept short-term placements if needed, including at night and on weekends.

Kinship care. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members who agree to care for children are called “kinship” caregivers. Kinship care can be in the form of informal or legal arrangements.

Kinship care. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members who agree to care for children are called “kinship” caregivers. Kinship care can be in the form of informal or legal arrangements.


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