Sifting your way through blogs and websites about foster care can be overwhelming. Chances are you have read your fair share of personal stories and opinions from past and present foster parents. You may have called your county foster agency looking for information and it's a sure bet you have scrolled your evenings away reading way too many comments and threads on social media. For every positive comment, you've read 5 horror stories. For every foster mom telling you to go for it, there are onlookers and disgruntled former foster parents warning you of the broken system. Who do you believe? How do you know if you have what it takes to foster? Here are 5 important things you should know if you want to become a foster parent.
There are very few things in life we can be 100% certain of. If we're honest, we make decisions all the time with 80-90% confidence that things will go well or turn out for the best. Sometimes it is impossible to know everything before jumping into something new. There are risks and pros and cons with everything we do in life and choosing to become a foster parent is no different. This blog could list 100 things you should know before you welcome foster kids into your family and there would still be unanswered questions and doubt in your mind. It is normal, it is common, and it is expected. Give yourself a break, it's okay to be unsure.
The unknown can be scary and intimidating. That is why we address all of your questions with honesty and transparency. Our staff loves to talk about treatment foster care and the kids we serve. We are passionate about helping kids heal from trauma and we want to share that with you. Most importantly, we want you to trust yourself and believe that you have the foundation to help a child or sibling groups. We ask that you trust us, a group of dedicated professionals and our 30 years of experience. Our experience helps us to know if you will be a successful foster parent. If we have concerns about anything at all, we will discuss them with you.
We have foster care answers you can trust and experience you can count on to guide you down the right path. We understand that many people doubt they are cut out to be a foster parent. It is why we spend nearly 4 months preparing you to get a foster care license. Our staff wants you to be confident, excited and eager to help kids heal. We will help you get there. We promise.
It is an exciting journey to becoming a foster parent and we promise to guide you through the entire process. Foster parent training is one of the last steps to become a foster parent. In anticipation of classroom training, our staff will walk you through the paperwork, 4 home visits, background checks, references, fingerprints and a host of miscellaneous required items. When the application process is complete, you are ready to attend classroom training. 30-hours of a well-planned agenda with topics and discussions designed to prepare you to welcome kids to your home. Of course, classes cannot prepare you for every situation you will encounter but you will gain significant insight and tools to help children in your care. Our goal is to fill your toolbox to the brim with information and tools to help you provide the best care possible. Our 30-hour training covers the subjects below and more.
You cannot do this work alone. A supportive foster agency will be critical to your success. In fact, we hear from licensed foster parents on a regular basis that are frustrated with their agency due to lack of support. These parents are exploring other options in the hopes of transferring to an agency like CCR that is known statewide for extraordinary support services. Our staff is proud of the exceptional service and support we provide. We know that it takes a village to care for kids with trauma and we are thrilled to be with you on your foster care journey.
Other Wisconsin agencies might provide monthly visits to their foster parents but we believe that weekly visits are critical for both foster parents and children. These one on one meetings are key in helping a child heal from past trauma and in offering foster parents the support to be successful. With exceptional low employee turnover, many of our foster parents have had the same caseworker assigned to their home for 10+ years. You can expect your Clinical Case Manager to answer your texts, take your late calls and share in your joys and frustrations. After hours, case managers are available through our 24/7 on-call hotline. Our entire staff works for the best interests of the foster children and foster parents.