The number of children in foster care in America has increased dramatically over the past couple of years, and there are currently over 400,000 children in need of great foster parents. Many single adults are not allowed to become foster parents, but there are still many ways to do it.
There are no cookie-cutter mold instructions for being a foster parent. However, one can still consider how it can be done successfully. Foster families are not new to being single parents. Even though it can be daunting, being a single foster parent is possible.
Being a single parent can be challenging, as you will not always have the option of making last-minute grocery purchases. Before you commit to any task, you must clearly understand what you need to do. Some people try to plan their meals ahead of time and use websites such as Amazon to save money on shopping.
Prep, Double-Up on Chores, and Find Shortcuts
You must have a plan ahead of time. For instance, some moms make their frozen meals ahead of time and know when they’ll be ready to cook. You can also try setting aside nights to eat out; some places will give you discounted or free kids’ meals. To find the best deals, go to your local stores and ask to confirm the availability of the products.
Have a Support System
You should also join support groups and take classes when you become a foster parent. These will allow you to connect with other like-minded individuals. A support system can help you get through the day-to-day challenges of being a foster parent.
Learn to Say No (Sometimes)
You may feel that you can do it all. However, doing too much can lead to stress and negatively affect the children. Instead, try to limit your activities and focus on essential things for you and the children.
Establishing clear expectations and consistent rules is the first step in fostering. This will let the children know what they can expect from you and your family. It’s also important to set boundaries so the children can feel comfortable in your home. Expect backlash from the kids, especially when they start adapting to the household rules. However, things should get easier once they learn how to adapt to them.
Ask For Help
If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Various types of support services are available to help foster parents, such as respite care, which can provide a few hours of assistance for up to a few days. Family members and friends who know you are a foster parent may also be willing to help by giving you a meal or playing with the kids while you clean. Foster parents can access these resources through their local agencies.