Be open with the people in your community. It’s tempting to figure it out on your own. Give people an opportunity to help you process.
If you’re thinking about jumping into foster parenting and are single, this episode is for you! You can do this. Our guest, Hallie Graves, shares practical insights to help you make that decision. If you’re not a single foster parent but know someone who is, you’ll learn how to come alongside your friend in a way that’s truly impactful. We need each other!
You can foster as a single person.
If this is you—if you’re considering stepping into foster parenting and you’re single—hear this:
1. Bring your community along with you on your journey.
You need people. It’s tempting to make the decision to foster on your own, but bring people along with you as you determine your next steps. Ask and listen to the feedback of those close to you. Share your thoughts. Let them learn with you. Let them in so that they can help you think through this decision. When they do, they will have more buy-in and want to support you. If you wait to share your decision until you’ve completed all the steps necessary to become a foster parent, be understanding of those you share with, as they haven’t had the same time or education as you have. Don’t forget to bring people in when you get that first placement call too. Before you say yes, talk to someone in your corner who can help you assess if the placement is a good fit. You’re going to need people in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
2. Learn to “bless and release.”
When people find out that you are fostering or thinking about fostering, they may have thoughts and opinions, and they may share them with you whether you ask or not. Be open to feedback from people who are truly in your life and evaluate. But you also don’t need to fear people. Take criticism. Hear it and evaluate if there is truth in it. And then let it go. We don’t need to be people who rely on the opinions of others. We need to be people who respond graciously and rely on the Lord. We need to be honest about areas that we need to continue growing in.
You can help support a single foster parent.
If this is you—if you know a single foster parent—hear this:
1. Be specific and intentional in the support you can provide.
This might sound simple, but find out what that specific foster parent needs. Not every foster parent has the same needs. It might be that she needs meals, but maybe her greater need is for connection. Instead of dropping off a meal and leaving, ask if she’d like for you to stay. Be ok if that isn’t her need though too. A meal can be simply food or an avenue to have conversation. Ask, and when you do, be specific in what you can offer. You don’t have to have unlimited time to help. If you have a free Thursday morning, let your single foster parent friend know and then give them options of what you could do. Ask which would be most helpful; You could pick up groceries. You could come over to connect. You could pray. Then, let them decide.
2. Continue your support beyond the initial few weeks.
Your longevity is so needed. It doesn’t mean that you have to set aside full days or weeks to support your single foster parent friend, but do be intentional about checking in beyond the first few weeks. Set a reminder to reach out each month to ask how things are going. Pray for important court dates. Ask if you can help keep a child occupied while the foster parent is filling out paperwork at an upcoming appointment. Being a foster parent can feel isolating and even more so for a single foster parent who doesn’t have a spouse to talk with about the hard and exciting parts of the journey. Be someone who helps a single foster parent feel less alone.
SPREAD THE WORD!
Are you a single foster parent or thinking about becoming one?
Download this free resource for your next placement call! Print it, cut it, and hang it on your fridge or save it on your phone for your first call.
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