Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Managing the Foster Child


Giving and receiving love is what the Creator intended.

Establishing your home as an open house for children in need of services is a rewarding move. One of the mandates of God to believers is to take care of the widows and orphans. Many people assist in the lives of those that are in need, allow me to add that a special help is needed for children in need of services.

Parents of children in foster care have fallen short on the road of life and may need time to get their life back on track. Because of the issues that children face in homes of lack, they are short of many life skills that children in their age group possess. This is the best opportunity to pour life into children so that they may have a solid foundation to build their future upon.

First, one seeking to become a foster care provider should have a loving mentality. Children that come into foster care are very lovable and will respond well to real love. These children can sense when someone is a "fake".  While some are longing for the day when they can be re-united with their birth parents or original caregiver, they want a lovable foster parent who provides a nurturing and enriching environment.

Second, you must get your personal life and physical home in good shape. An agency will not place a child in your home if you have unsafe living conditions or certain persons that are hanging around that live questionable lifestyles. You must be a good example for the child(ren) that you will take in. Protection is a major concern, as these children were removed from a home where they were neglected on in harms way.

Third, you must be willing to go through the ups and downs that most foster kids experience as the adjust to a new living arrangement. Kids do not respond well when they are in places of uncertainty. As a provider you must continue to assure the child(ren) that I am here for you and will see you through this. A constant reminder that you will protect them from any unwanted experiences will soothe their souls.  According to Abraham Maslow, we must secure basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter to have a strong foundation to life. After those simple needs are there, then we need love and security needs to be productive citizens. Children can go a long way when those basic level needs are provided.

Fourth, you must be a facilitator of passion. Each child has a future that you will be responsible for assisting with their preparation. This means that you must be the child's advocate. In school, the child may not be on task with learning skills. You must be focused on ensuring that the child is learning. Emotionally, the child may have a problem moving forward due to self esteem problems. As the child's advocate, you must enrich the child with life skills that can move the child from places they are stuck. Self-help skills are important. Teach the child how to mix and match an outfit, iron their clothing, dress, tie their shoes, keep up their hygiene, fix a quick meal, love another person, share what little they have and how to dream.

Finally, managing the foster child is not hard. Most of us are natural parents. Some people say, I have enough with my own children or I can't take in another child. Others say, I raised my children and I'm through with child rearing. Kudos! I'm glad that they were successful in rearing their own children and I praise them. However, managing a foster child has its rewards. First, managing foster care children brings on a special blessing from the Father, who gave us His word to take care of the orphans. With obedience, God intervenes. Next, raising children keeps of mental physique in shape. Raising a child keeps us alert! Alive! We wake up each day stronger because we give and receive love that is rewarding.

Giving and receiving love is what the Creator intended. For God is one who yearns for the fellowship of His children.