The rewards of foster parenting are many, but that doesn’t change the fact that it, like all parenting, can be difficult and emotional work.
Even those who have raised a brood of their own biological children may not be fully prepared for the circumstances of foster parenting, such as court hearings, therapy appointments, visits with the birth family, medication evaluations, individualized education plans, and the rollercoaster of emotions and deep vulnerability that comes from opening one’s heart to a hurting child.
This is why we often give foster parents pedestal status. We assume they must be more patient, more giving, more loving, and more capable than the rest of us. But the truth is, they, like the rest of us, need all the help they can get.
Churches have a unique opportunity to provide this needed support, as well as to help those considering becoming a foster parent to make an informed and prayerful decision.
1. Extend new-parent ministries to include foster parents. Many churches have a network in place to support new parents. This network should extend to foster parents, including those who are fostering an older child. While there may not be night wakings and seemingly endless 2 a.m. feedings, opening one’s home to a child comes with its own kind of fatigue.
You can read the rest of this post (and the four other ways your church can help foster families!), at The Christian Century by clicking here.