When you first started supporting the foster care community (or if you’re just now learning about the need, welcome!), I’m sure you had a whole host of questions ranging from “Why do you want to be a foster parent?” to “What does an agency worker do?” to “How do kids end up in foster care?”
There are things each of us will learn along the way during our foster care journeys that we wish more people knew. We recently shared a post across our social media, asking: What is one thing you wish everyone knew about foster care?
And we got some great answers!
Here are just a few of the responses:
1. Not everyone has to be a foster parent.
“I wish people knew about respite foster care! It’s such a great way for families to get involved if they have any hesitancy about providing long-term care, and it fills a huge need for both children in care and their foster families. I think more people would jump into foster care if they knew they could start by providing care for short, defined periods of time!” – Emily
“You can still help without actually fostering. Your friends or family members who foster would love to have meals, a break, or just to have someone check in on them.” – Sienna B.
2. Foster care is complex.
“Kids in foster care are surrounded by a much larger ecosystem around them—their parents, communities, and generation cycles. When we foster, we are stepping into this larger narrative and participating in bringing life, health, and hope to it.” – Jason J.
“Foster care brings on one of the biggest spiritual wars you will ever fight.” – Andrea F.
3. Foster children aren’t “bad kids.”
“Children in foster care are not ‘naughty’ kids; they are traumatized kids.” – Natalie L.
“Healing never ends for these kids. Things may be smooth for a time but just like adults carry baggage, the baggage these kids carry gets heavy and burdensome.” – Jaime M.
“Children are not in foster care due to any fault of their own.” – Michelle A.
“It is hard on older children and it is usually not their fault that they are in this situation. They need lots of support and love. Trauma runs deep and is often invisible.” – @portervillenow on Instagram
4. Kinship care has its own unique challenges.
“Kinship care is hard. You often carry the weight of your family along with the weight of a child’s journey.” – Mary C.
5. Foster care is hard.
“It’s harder than it looks, even when sometimes it looks easy from the outside looking in.” – Estelle B.
“Things aren’t always as they appear on the surface! They can feel much easier or much harder.” – Dale & Anita B.
“Adoption doesn’t automatically mend everything that has been broken. Families need ongoing support, respite care, and meals.” – Esther B.
6. It is worth it!
“Even though it has been hard, It has been a blessing not a burden for my bio kids.” – Anne M.
“It’s worth it!” – Sarah A.
Quinn loves good stories no matter what shape they take, including video games, books, and podcasts. He is passionate about creative ministry, helping to communicate the work God is doing to the world. He and his wife Emily were married in May of 2020 and love spending time with their dog Koda, doing ministry with college students at ISU, and eating good food.
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