Working at Utah Foster Care, I am always learning from the foster parents I meet.
I’ve adopted a son, but I’ve never fostered a child and helped them reunite with their biological family. That brings a different dynamic to the experience. We tell foster parents that they need to love these kids, but then also be willing to see them leave and go back to their family of origin.
So, I listen closely when foster moms and dads talk about what foster parenting has taught them. And, no matter how small or innocuous it may seem, it always leaves with me a little more insight and admiration.
Now, I am not a trained social worker and don’t work directly with foster families. My job is finding ways to communicate our message to you, the public, who are mostly in the dark about foster care and foster parenting. And often, it’s the foster parents themselves who are the most effective communicators.
So, we posed a question on our Facebook page – what has foster parenting taught you? Here are their answers. All of them are from foster families who live right here in Utah.
Foster parenting has taught me-
- It is possible to love a child who isn’t your biological child like your own.
- I can do more than I thought to help families who need me.
- Never be quick to judge. Always be quick to love.
- Everyone deserves love and a second chance.
- It’s the hardest job you will LOVE!
- If these kids can do hard things, then I can do hard things to help them.
- My heart can take more than I thought.
- Love and forgive the bio parents.
- Never be quick to judge. Be quick to love.
- Relationships are more important than enforcing discipline.
- It’s enough to be good enough.
- Anyone who has trauma in their past is capable of being a good, well-rounded person. It takes time, dedication, a support system, and people who love unconditionally. And guess what? Those are qualities most people already possess. You already have some of the strengths to be a foster parent.