Saying Goodbye to Your Foster Child

Posted on April 9, 2018 by

Yes, goodbye will be hard. But don’t let that keep you from saying hello.

Foster parenting is a labor of love. Truly. It’s about showing a child in the most powerful way possible that there are adults who care about them, will keep them safe, and will let them go when the time comes.

Many people who consider becoming foster parents decide not to because they fear having to say goodbye to a child they’ve come to love.  Understandably so; saying goodbye is never easy. And, as a foster parent, chances are that you’ll have to go through the painful experience of seeing a child in whom you have invested so much time, energy, and, most of all, love, leave your home for good.

When your foster child leaves your family, it can be hard for everyone. But it can also be “good” in the best sense of the word. It’s “good” when a child leaves foster care to be reunified with their birth parents. It’s “good” when a child exits foster care to the legal guardianship of a relative. And, it’s good when a child moves from a foster family to an adoptive family.

Foster care was never meant to be the last-stop for children who have entered the child welfare system. It is meant to provide safety and security for a child while the best possible plan for a permanent, legal family is worked out. As a foster parent, you provide safety, love and emotional security at a critical time. By your own example, you teach your foster child that there are adults who are safe to trust. In doing so you help them trust that they have your blessing to move onto their “forever” family.

Successful foster parents are among some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet. They’re strong enough to take challenging children into their hearts and homes. And strong enough to let them go.

Although their hearts may break a little each time a child leaves their home, foster parents remember that the reason they fostered to begin with was that a child needed them, desperately, and somebody had to be there. So yes, there is pain in saying goodbye, but please don’t let fear of that pain keep you from saying hello to a child who needs you.

If you’d like to become a foster parent, please contact Liz, our Family Resource and Recruitment Manager, at 978-935-9691 or lfaria@plummeryouthpromise.org.

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