Foster parenting is a legal process wherein a minor child who is under the legal guardianship of the state is being entrusted to a private home. The private home must be a licensed care provider which is referred to as a foster parent. The state through the family courts and department of social services has the legal supervision over the child. On the other hand, the foster parent looks after the daily needs of the minor. The foster parent is reimbursed by the state for his or her services. Normally, foster parenting is a prelude to most adoption cases. The foster parents usually end up applying for adoption through the legal processes to legally adopt the child. This is common among spouses who are childless. However, there are also some families who have made foster parenting their goal in life.
It’s The Government that Regulates
In the United States of America, the policies regarding foster parenting vary from state to state. It is the State’s Department of Social Services that determines the policies to be implemented in foster parenting. It lays down the procedure how to apply and the documents you have to produce. The most common documents required in order to be granted a license as foster parent are about your proof of income, criminal records clearance certificates, medical certifications and recommendations from employers or other persons who personally knew the foster parent applicant. Your financial capabilities are also looked into if you are capable to support the child financially. The process of applying to be a foster parent is quite similar to the process of filing an adoption in court.
The Duration Is Shorter
Foster parenting is short term in duration until a permanent placement for the child is documented. This is just a temporary sheltering of the child under the tutelage of a foster family. It is aimed to provide the subject child the support of a family through the foster parents that ordinary children have. The government still gives priority to have the child reunited with his biological parents if that is still possible. There are cases when his biological parents are not physically capable to raise him, hence this temporary sheltering called foster parenting.
Other Steps Taken
In case the reunification of the child with his biological parents is not possible, the next step is adoption. Adoption is offered preferably to a member of the biological family like the aunts or grandparents of the child. If no member of the biological family is qualified or interested, the foster parent or someone involved with the child’s development is considered. This would assure the continuity in the life of the minor. The last option if the three legal adopters fail to satisfy the law, a stranger to the child would be allowed to adopt him or her.
Foster parenting is an immediate solution to the child wanting in parental care. It normally ends up in adoption by the foster parent due to the bonding that was developed during their foster parenting period. Many children have enjoyed brighter future through foster parenting.