Why Do People Become Foster Parents?

Woman comforting crying child - why do people become foster parents

Why do people become foster parents? There are many foster parenting stories – this is mine.

We fostered for 11 years; during that time, we fostered approximately 17 children and adopted 2. We became foster parents to “test the waters” to see if we would make good parents. When we trained, we were signed up as a Fost-Adopt family, but the county didn’t allow fostering while we waited for a child. We had to change counties in order to foster.

When we did, we quickly realized we had nothing to fear about fostering or adopting transracially and that we wanted to be parents.

One important reason to become a foster parent in New Jersey, or anywhere for that matter, is to advocate for the children in your care; to help them get what they need so they can grow up to live happier, more stable adult lives. The most valuable advice I received as a foster parent was this: You are your child’s best advocate! Speak up! (Good advice for any parent.)

Many men and women wonder, “Why do people become foster parents?” Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what it means and what our motivations are. Too many people believe the common foster care myths that foster parents only do it for the money, or that we are monsters and are abusive to children in care. We bear the brunt of the pain of the 2% of bad seeds. I would hope that the general public would see how children in care are treated by our actions in every day life, that we would be good examples in our communities.

Why Do People Become Foster Parents? To Change Children’s Lives (And Our Own Lives) For The Better

Our happiest and proudest moment was the adoption days of both our children! We were elated to be blessed with such beautiful souls. Proud and happy moments continue to come as the girls grow, overcome obstacles and accomplish milestones.

Our saddest moment by far was having to say goodbye to our first child having been with us for a year. You don’t know how much a three-year-old understands about going to live with relatives they never met.

All of the children that came into our home left a mark on our hearts. They have taught us so much in the way of compassion, understanding and knowledge in how we should lead our lives. We are truly grateful to have had the privilege of meeting them.

Learn how to become a foster parent in NJ or how to adopt from foster care in NJ.

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6 thoughts on “Why Do People Become Foster Parents?

  1. I have been a foster/adopted parent for 9 years. I have also being a co trainer for DFYS. I have adopted 3 children and am adopting my fourth daughter. Is sad to say how I feel about DFYS. In the beginning of me being a foster parent, I was excited,thrilled to be able to open my heart and home to children in need. I talked to everyone that will listen about becoming a foster parent/adoptive parent. But it all change when DFYS started to be disrespectful, abusive,false accusations, threatening and talking down on foster parents. The communication from the resource unit and the case worker to the foster parents has gotten worst. XXXXXX XXX(resource supervisor) and XXXX XXXXX (Mr. XXX,supervisor) has been unprofessional on their jobs. It seems like us foster parents need to go to court and let the judge know what dfys has being and done to the foster parent. The concern and care about the foster children is not important to dfys. Neither is the well being of the children in system. DFYS has taken upon themselves to remove children that are stable in their foster homes, all because the foster parent don’t jump up high, when DFYS tells us to. As the result of DFYS being unprofessional, a lot of our homes are closing. When foster parents call distric area office to complain about DFYS, it seems they hear us but they are not listening or paying attention. No one gets back to the foster parent nor do they respond to our needs. Have DFYS forgotten that if it wasn’t for the foster parents, children in the system will not have a place to call home, even if it was for a day,week,month or year? Have DFYS forgotten that without foster parents,they wouldn’t have a job? Have DFYS forgotten that foster parents put a hold on their lives,future plans, to be able to open their heart,and their homes to give love, understanding,stability to needed children? Have DFYS forgotten that after they place a child or children in a foster home, DFYS can go home and call it at night? Foster parents work 7 days a week,24 hours a day with the children. We are up in the middle of the night,when the children are sick,or when the children are scare and can’t sleep. Who ‘s their to comfort them and assure them that they are safe. WE ARE, THE FOSTER PARENT. I feel that we don’t have someone to be our VOICE and someone to FIGHT for whats right. I encourage all those foster parents, who are having a hard time, to write or call our GOV and write to the newspaper and tell them your stories. There’s got to be someone out there who cares,not just for the foster parent but for the children in the system. Our goals is to be a FOREVER HOME.

    1. Glenda, thank you for sharing your concerns, and for your commitment to children in foster care. As a foster / adoptive parent you do have a voice. FAFS is the voice of foster, adoptive and kinship families in NJ. Your FAFS Family Advocate (FFA) is Terri McClure. She will be in touch with you shortly. Additionally, our Director of Support Services, James Chester, will be reaching out to you directly to offer his assistance with the issues you’re experiencing.

    2. Glenda, Thank you so much for posting this. I am a foster parent who recently closed my home due to exactly what you described and since my last comment was deleted I will not go into detail again. I really wanted to help more children but all the abuse, negative & malicious comments and threats took a toll on my family. I pray that things change for foster parents.

  2. I love that you reached out to her with answers! She is correct. No one tells us anything. We are here, loving, nurturing and supporting these children. Yet it’s like pulling teeth just to get our caseworker to return a phone call or text. I feel we deserve to know what’s going on with their cases. We should have more than a phone call and thirty minutes to prepair our foster and bio children who love them that they will be leaving, and why. The flat fact is that less than 2% of foster parents nationwide are doing this for the money. There’s no financial reward in what we do. We instantly fall in love with these kids for a lifetime no matter how long they stay in our home. Why is it that those who take the biggest risk are always the last to know how their lives may instantly change? Prayers to all of you. To all of us who wake up every day and say “yes, I will make a difference in the life of this child”.

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