What Is Foster Parenting?
Foster parenting is a protective measure taken when, for whatever circumstance, children cannot stay with their families. It consists of a temporary or final adoption by a foster family.
Unlike permanent or full adoption, with a foster family children can maintain the connection to their biological families. The purpose is to provide children with a substitute nuclear family under the ideal conditions for their development, but without completely separating them from their biological families.
What are the responsibilities of foster parenting?
The duty of foster parenting is to fulfill the responsibilities of raising a child. This includes supporting children’s academics, teaching values, and most important in these cases, emotional support.
Except in cases where it’s prohibited, or when it’s a pre-adoption fostering situation, the foster family should also allow contact between foster children and their biological families.
Furthermore, the state is responsible for providing the foster family with economic assistance. The purpose is to make sure the foster children have all the necessary resources for healthy development. This includes food, clothing, and school supplies.
Types of foster care
Foster care can refer to a variety of situations. For example, the foster parents may be extended family members. That is, biological relatives who aren’t the parents. Or, foster parents may be from an entirely separate family. In this latter case, they go to people who are outside the nuclear family.
On the other hand, according to the type of intervention, its purpose, and its duration, foster care is divided into the following models:
- Temporary: This is for a limited time. The child stays with the family until the situation that caused the separation from his or her biological parents is resolved.
- Final: In these cases, returning the child to his or her family isn’t considered possible, neither in the short or long term.
- Pre-adoptive: when circumstances dictate that a child is up for adoption, pre-adoptive foster parenting may occur while the judge review the petition for adoption, or as a trial period beforehand.
Similarly, foster parenting can be formalized administratively, meaning the biological parents and the state agency agree on the conditions. Or it may be judicial, meaning that a judge makes the decision to take this step.
“The purpose is to provide children with a substitute nuclear family under the ideal conditions for their development, but without completely separating them from their biological families. “
When do children go to foster parents?
In most cases, foster parenting isn’t an adoption process. It’s more like a transition stage, during which children are supported until things are stable enough for them to return home.
Some cases in which this type of foster parenting may be necessary include the following:
- Homelessness or risk to the child
- Parents are unable to care for the child due to disability, serious illness, or addiction.
- Flaws in how the children are being raised, especially relation to lack of affection, support, and providing appropriate conditions for development.
- Parental abandonment or death of the parents or guardians of the child.
Those who embark on this loving act of kindness aren’t alone. There are many foster care associations that provide support and offer help to foster parents. These can help people feel that someone truly has their backs in this important task they have taken on.
This support not only comes from the public, but also from people who have been or are in the same situation. The act of kindness and love that they are carrying deserves all the support we can give them.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Simms, M. D., Dubowitz, H., & Szilagyi, M. A. (2000). Health care needs of children in the foster care system. Pediatrics, 106(Supplement 3), 909-918. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/Supplement_3/909.short
- Blome, W. W. (1997). What happens to foster kids: Educational experiences of a random sample of foster care youth and a matched group of non-foster care youth. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 14(1), 41-53. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1024592813809
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- Palacios, J. (2011). Valoración de idoneidad para el acogimiento familiar.
- López, M. L., Delgado, P., Carvalho, J., & Del Valle, J. F. (2014). Características y desarrollo del acogimiento familiar en dos países con fuerte tradición de acogimiento residencial: España y Portugal. Universitas psychologica, 13(3). https://revistas.javeriana.edu.co/index.php/revPsycho/article/view/4190