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What Makes a Great Foster Parent?

May is National Foster Care Month, and we’d like to give a huge shout-out to the amazing foster parents here at RISE Services, Inc. Arizona. If it wasn’t for their dedication and compassion, we could not provide safe and loving homes for foster children or help their parents create secure environments in which they can welcome their children back home. Learn more about what makes a great foster parent by reading through these four characteristics of amazing foster families.

What Makes a Great Foster Parent

Having Empathy

Empathy is about trying to understand why an individual feels the way they do. Rather than feeling sorry for them and their circumstances, you choose to place yourself in their situation and imagine how it would affect you. Our foster parents do the best they can to empathize with the children in their care. They give them the love and understanding they need in simple yet effective ways, including:

  • validating their feelings
  • allowing them to express their hurts and frustrations
  • sincerely listening to them
  • taking time to get to know them better

Persevering Through Challenges

Much of foster parenting is about persevering through challenging situations. Many children in foster care have experienced trauma or neglect, and as a result, tend to lash out with strong behaviors and emotions. There are times when certain behaviors need to be addressed, and children can benefit from learning how to respond and cope in healthy ways. During these times, it’s important to not give up on them. They need to know you are there for them, no matter what.

Being Flexible 

Flexibility is valuable for many foster families. As you welcome a hurting child into your home, both you and the child need time to become familiar with the new family dynamics. Many of our foster parents understand that it takes time to adjust to different schedules and implement new routines. Being flexible will serve you and your foster children well as they are getting used to a new home and new lifestyle, and you are providing them with a dependable and loving home. 

Having a Stable Home

A stable home environment can make such a difference for a child in foster care, especially because they have lived with little to no stability for so long. We never expect families to be perfect. In fact, that’s the last thing we want from our foster families. Foster children need to see imperfect families living together and handling typical family challenges in healthy ways, such as:

  • settling disagreements peacefully 
  • saying “I’m sorry” when a mistake was made
  • forgiving other family members  
  • working out healthy solutions together 

Support & Assistance for Arizona Foster Families

To learn more about becoming a foster parent, contact RISE today or complete our Foster Care Licensing Intake Form. We provide a high level of support and assistance for foster families throughout the licensing process and during each foster care placement. 

Source: “Who Makes a Great Foster Parent?” Blog article. FosterVA. Web. 09 May. 2023.