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19 Things Nobody Tells You About Becoming A Foster Parent

Every state’s foster care system is run with different structure and rules, but one thing applies everywhere: there's actual kids underneath all those policies and paperwork.

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2. Foster parent classes are not about parenting.


Many foster parenting classes are so aware that there is no amount of training (short of a Masters in social work) that can prepare you for the millions of challenges you’re about to face, so they don’t even try. Instead, they teach you how to do paperwork, and who to call in an emergency.

4. We don’t say “put up for adoption,” either.


You really want to refer to your kid standing on an auction platform and being “adopted” to the highest bidder? Because that’s how they used to do it. In the 1800s. We say “legally free,” now. That shows that the child’s biological parents’ rights have been terminated and they can be adopted.


6. Some people will call you a saint or an angel.


And some will call you a "babysitter" or "not a real parent." The ones whose opinions actually matter will call you Mom and Dad (or your name, if you're not doing the whole Mom or Dad thing).


11. You will classify every bump and scratch on your kids as “must fill out the form” or “no form necessary.”


"child shows bruise approx 2"x2" on upper left thigh. was either caused by coffee table or skateboard, or both."

12. You will learn to leave food within easy sight and reach at all times.


If kids don’t feel secure about being able to have food when they need it, they’ll hide it in their rooms — and you won’t find out until the ants arrive.


14. While other people are Instagramming the heck out of their kids’ smiles, you will be posting photos of their feet, or the backs of their heads – if at all.

Privacy and protection policies are serious — you don’t always know what or who you’re protecting a kid from.

16. You will be calling to file abuse reports – on yourself.

Fox Searchlight

“Yes, hi, I’d like to report that a child in my care has a large bruise on his left hip that he got from rollerblading down my stairs and the doctor’s report is on its way. You’ll be out tomorrow to interview him about it? Thanks.”