Foster Parenting Can Change Your Life Forever by Erica Jourdan, M.S.W.

There is so much information out there about being a foster parent. Some of it is inspiring…but much of it is misleading, terrifying, or just plain wrong.

So what does it take to be a foster parent? To be a foster parent, you do need to be over age 21. You do need to pass criminal and child abuse checks. You do need to show that you are financially and emotionally stable. But being a really good foster parent means so much more.

Being a really good foster parent means being someone who loves helping kids to heal. It means being someone who can understand the confusion, pain, and loss that they’ experienced. And it also means being someone who can provide structure and safety while still being able to have fun, play, and learn and grow right along with a child. Many of these skills are taught during the 30-hour free (but required) training class.

Foster parenting can change your life forever.

Foster parenting is never easy. These children have been through a lot and so have their families. Their pain can take a toll on you. But by working to help heal that hurt, by really being there 24/7 for a child, you too start to change…your capacity for love, patience, and nurturing grows daily. You develop pride in yourself.

Here some rewards offered by foster parents:

“It’s been amazing to watch my only child develop compassion for other children.”

“I now know that I can do something about my growing awareness that children in my own community suffer.”

“I remembered how to play again—and it’s a joy to teach the kids how to have fun without the fear that haunts so many of them.”

“I cherish collecting the hundreds of funny little family stories that we retell to each other.”

“Watching a child heal…to really start to open up and come out of his shell…that’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done with my entire life.”

Foster parenting truly can change your life forever. Come learn more about what you have to offer—and what the children have to offer you.

On Saturday, November 13, drop in at the free WNC Foster/Adopt Fall Festival between 2 to 5 p.m. This is a great, no pressure way to learn more about foster parenting and to talk to experienced foster and adoptive parents. See our ad on this page to learn more!

For more information any time of year, email Erica Jourdan at erica.jourdan@buncombecounty.org.