When you start looking into foster care and adoption, you’ll get a lot of information from caseworkers and other professionals. So periodically, we’re asking our Facebook followers to share their advice.
Earlier this year, we posed the question: What is the most surprising thing you learned about being a foster parent during training?
Parents responded with thoughts on topics including understanding trauma and maintaining relationships with birth families. Here are a few highlights.
About getting licensed
“My husband and I went through PRIDE training [last winter]. I had been licensed as a single foster parent several years ago. I was amazed at the how much the training had changed. The focus was to genuinely prepare prospective foster parents for the challenges ahead, so the children do not experience multiple placements and truly have their needs meet. The training was lengthy, but we are so grateful for the time and effort to prepare us for the reality of what to expect and the opportunity to begin thinking of how we might handle a variety of difficult situations.”
About understanding trauma
“[In training, I learned] what it would be like to move from home to home and have to learn a new set of rules and values and even religion at each new home.”
“The Removed video sums it up well. It really saddens me as to what the children go through, and it is not their fault.”
“I was not prepared for the trauma and PTSD that my daughter had been through. For those seeking to adopt, learn all that you can about childhood trauma and connected parenting, it will help you a lot.”
“I think I was probably a little naive when we were learning about behaviors…thinking the typical, kid just more extreme. However, it’s a whole different world. I’m very thankful for the classes and the opening of my eyes to what could happen at my home. Didn’t stop me.”
About birth families
“[My advice for foster parents is to] get to know the family! Don’t be afraid or intimidated. You owe it to the children. It’s part of what we are supposed to be doing as foster parents. One day, if they have to be adopted, you will have inside info that will help to bring healing to their broken hearts…We’ve been able to better understand the situations all the way around for the children’s sake. And that is why we do what we do: for the children’s sake.”