What does foster care give a child or teenager? In addition to necessities like food, shelter, and safety, foster care also provides a young person with the chance to live with a family. The support of their foster family allows them to consistently attend school, receive regular medical and dental care, and participate in the family’s cultural and religious practices.
Foster care can give a child or teenager hope that may have been missing throughout their lives. Kids in the child welfare system often come into foster care with an invisible suitcase of expectations, filled with trauma they have experienced and hardships they have endured. They may expect the worst out of life, have little optimism for the future, and consequently believe that they have no ability to make things better.
Living in a foster home can give a child or teenager hope that their future will be better. Within the stable environment of a safe home, they can believe in their own ability to learn and grow, and better succeed in school. Success in school builds their confidence to make their way in the world and look forward to their future.
Living in a foster home can give a child or teenager hope about what family life can be. Being part of the routine of a regular family life shows kids that family members can work together and give each other love and support.
Living in a foster home can give a child or teenager hope that they can return home safely. When foster parents work cooperatively with birth families, children have a better chance of returning home safely. Seeing the important adults in their life work together lets them envision a future in which they live safely at home in their community.
Living in a foster home can give a child or teenager hope that they can have a forever family, even if they are unable to live with their birth parents. Foster parents help kids prepare for life in a permanent family formed through adoption or guardianship when returning to their birth family is not an option.
Foster parents help unpack those invisible suitcases and give kids in care room to grow up and pursue their future. Give a child hope: become a foster parent.
by Diane Kindler, MSW, LICSW