Foster Care Handbook: Behavior - Action Speaks Louder Than Words (Chapter 1, page 1 of 1)

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Chapter 1

Being a foster parent is quite different than raising your own children. They come to you with their own life experiences that are completely different than yours - and sometimes quite shocking, which will manifest in their unacceptable behavior patterns.

Who makes good foster parents? Anyone who has the caring, patience and flexibility to manage children of all ages. We were senior citizens when we started and had children ranging from 6 years old to 18 years old. Personally, we found the teenagers to be best for us. Most foster parents prefer the young children.

Consider everyday an adventure including the day they are either re-unified with their family, transferred to another protective setting (institutional), another foster home or group home, or emancipated because they are 18. These children are under the auspices of the Court and the Court decisions can be immediate and sometimes without warning.

Letting go of these children with love, time and money invested in them is often difficult and challenging, but a necessary part of the process. Sometimes the letting go is because the placement just isn't working out and it's important to recognize that.

Helping the children to change their behavior while they are under your guidance is a primary responsibility - we are not babysitters. Hopefully, this handbook will offer you suggestions for making the right decisions and taking the proper action to keep things running smoothly.

Stability, consistency and specific parameters set early eases the pathway to a healthy lifestyle and hopefully for the children to maintain a high level of self-discipline.

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