Many times in society there are children who are treated by their parents in a way that is not good for their well being. The children are subjected to sexual and physical abuse. Sometimes some of these children are also abandoned by their parents. In situations like these the government run foster care system takes over. The foster care system looks after abandoned and ill-treated children and some of these children are later available for adoption. Apart from the government run foster care system there are also a number of foster families who on their own initiative take care of these unfortunate children.
Families that provide a temporary home to children in such problematic situations are called Foster families. Although all these families do such activities voluntarily but as per government rules they are suppose to fill certain conditions to be eligible to take care of the children. The foster parent should be a minimum 21 years old and should not have any alcohol and drinking problems. They should not have any criminal history especially that of child abuse.
The government does provide for financial support to foster families. However the foster parents have to prove the requirement of the support. Also the house and living conditions should be go enough to accommodate another member into the family.
Foster families are not just suppose to take care of the child’s basic needs but is also suppose to provide emotional support and guidance. The family is suppose to be the child’s alternative support system and therefore interacts with the child’s school staff, doctors and social workers.
Before taking the responsibility of the child through a foster care system on must answer to oneself a few important questions. Would you be able to provide the same level of affection and love as you provide to your children? Would you be capable of creating a situation where the child feels comfortable and safe? Would you be able to ignore the circumstances that the child has come from? Would you be to be patient with he bad behaviour of the child as it is quite possible that the child will be uncomfortable in the beginning and therefore may not behave in the most appropriate manner. Would you be able to deal in cordial manner with the actual parent even though the parent itself might be the cause of the child’s problems? It is important that you as an individual can provide the child with affection and care but at the same time be ready to let him/her go when the time arrives.
Foster families can also adopt the child once the biological parents give up their rights on their child. This happens after a court proceeding and the court finds that the biological family is not suitable and capable of handling the care of the child. In this case the foster families become responsible for the long term emotional, financial and other support of the child. Foster parents are no longer foster parents and have to take on the responsibility of real birth parents.