Skip to main content

Embracing Your Unique Why: Foster Care Motivations

By September 15, 2023September 20th, 2023Blog

There is no doubt that being a part of the foster care community can be full of joy, victories, and lives impacted for the better. But it can also contain some really hard days–days when you want to give up or feel like you can’t take it anymore. It’s on those days that it is really important that you understand why you started supporting the foster care community to begin with. It’s this reason that helps us keep going even when things get tough.

We recently asked people on our social media, “What is your WHY as a foster parent? Why did you start and why do you continue to say yes to this role?⁠” and we got a variety of responses. Here are just a few:

  • “Because kids deserve loving families as they navigate their hardest & most confusing days!”
  • “Because we have room in our home, our hearts, and lives. We keep saying yes because although it is heartbreaking, it is also so rewarding. Our family has grown so much beyond our expectations.”
  • “Because every child deserves love and stability. God called us to this and although it’s been the hardest thing we as a couple and family have faced. It’s still nothing to what these sweet kiddos go through. It is never their fault!”
  • “Because we are biblically called to care for the fatherless. As the church we need to be willing to step up and run alongside those in foster care in any capacity we are able.”

As we began to look at the responses, we saw a few common reasons stand out and some patterns emerged for why people became foster parents.

Why does it matter to look at various reasons people choose to pursue foster care? Well, here’s the beautiful truth we want you to see: Your why doesn’t have to be the same as someone else’s. Your story of awareness can be unique because you are unique. So this is by no means an exhaustive list of why people choose to start fostering, but if you see people with the same reason as you, then know that you are not alone. If you don’t see your reason listed, that’s okay too! Every journey has a beginning, and each of our journeys are working towards one goal: To support vulnerable families when they need it most.

Here are a few common reasons people choose to pursue foster care:

Biblical Mandate to Care for Children in Foster Care

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” (James 1:27 NIV). Does this verse sound familiar? This verse is one of the many clear calls we have in Scripture to care for children who need it. Today, that often looks like supporting children in foster care and those that are waiting for adoption.

This is a motivation to use the resources God has blessed us with to help fix the brokenness in our own backyard. We see the results of our fallen world every day and have a desire to step up to be the hands and feet of Jesus to bring about the restoration and reunification of families. God instructed us to care for children in foster care and He has given us the ability and resources to share what we have with them.

Sharing Resources We’ve Been Given

Many of us have been fortunate to have extra resources, whether that be room in our homes, love in our hearts, or extra finances, and we want to use those resources to improve someone else’s life. We have seen the desperate need for additional resources to help children in foster care as friends, teachers, case workers, family, etc. This sparks a desire to step up and meet the need with the resources we have been given.

Every Child Deserves a Family

Children who grow up without familial consistency are statistically more susceptible to numerous negative outcomes including poor academic performance, struggling to build and maintain connections, and falling behind developmentally. We see the desperate necessity for children to have a family support system during what may be the most challenging season of their life.

This motivation doesn’t mean we want to replace biological family for a child. It does mean that we want to be present in a child’s life for however long they need us to be.

Saw Someone Else Foster

Whether you grew up with foster siblings, know someone else who was a foster child, or saw another family foster a child, seeing the impact of foster care lived out is a common inspiration to foster. In these cases, people have seen firsthand how difficult, rewarding, and vital becoming a foster parent can be! For many in this category, they previously had a fear that they couldn’t cut it as foster parents, but through the example of someone else they realized they could become foster parents.

Like we often say, awareness leads to action. This is exactly that!

Family Restoration

At the heart of the purpose of foster care is family restoration. Whenever possible, we want to see families unified, connections restored, and healing pursued. In the role of foster parent, people have a unique opportunity to encourage and support vulnerable adults in the foster care system by exhorting and encouraging them towards that goal. In a recent podcast episode with Heather Simpson, she said, “Reunification or family preservation is just a small snippet of Heaven on earth.” She was exactly right!

Each and every foster parent in the foster care community has a different reason why they became a foster parent. You may have connected with some of the reasons listed here or you may have a completely different motivation that’s unique to your story. Whatever the unique motivator of your foster care journey is, we want you to know that you can make a difference through this role.

You can join the conversation on our original post on Instagram or Facebook and let us know your WHY for becoming a foster parent. You also may consider reading through our New Foster Parent Series if you’re considering starting this journey. Here are some great places to start:

Quinn Brewer

Quinn is the Communications Director for our National team here at TFI. He 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.

Get encouragement and updates in your inbox.

Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You Might Also Enjoy:

6 Things That Happen When We Give to God

| Blog | No Comments
Whether it's eating healthier, or working out more regularly, one of the best byproducts of starting a new healthy habit is beginning to actually see the results... and the habit of being generous and giving…

Your Questions Answered About Children Waiting to Be Adopted

| Blog | No Comments
Because our focus as a ministry is on foster care, we want to highlight specific information and needs for the “orphans” in the U.S.—specifically kids in foster care waiting to be adopted. Take some time…

Known for Service to Others: Introducing 5 New TFI Advocates

| Blog | No Comments
Unable to verbalize all they felt at that moment, they cried. They knew leaving the agency car meant they weren’t going back to be with Mom today. A 40-minute drive back to our home—not their…