When a child you know, who is the child of a family member or maybe the child of a friend, is placed in foster care for whatever reason, your heart goes out to them and you feel you want to care for them yourself in your own home. You wonder if kinship foster care is possible. Most of the children that are in kinship care are related to their kinship foster parents, who are usually grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, other family members or family friends. Ask yourself the following questions if you are considering becoming a kinship foster parent.
Questions for a Potential Kinship Foster Parent
Am I over 21?
You need to meet this age requirement to become a foster parent to any child.
How is my mental and physical health?
It is not necessary to be a health fanatic, nor will you be disqualified for having some mental health issues. You are just required to be healthy enough to care for a child. It can be both physically and emotionally demanding becoming a kinship foster parent. If you are dealing with serious health issues, then this may not be the right time for you to take on kinship foster parenting
Am I able to support myself and my family?
Although kinship foster parents receive an allowance to be used for the child’s expenses, it is not meant as extra income for the foster parents. You are not expected to be rich, but you do need to show that you do not have to depend on the foster care allowance to support your family.
Do I have enough sleeping places for the children?
Every child must have their own bed or a crib, if they are an infant. They may share a room provided that children over five share a room with children of similar age and gender.
Can a background check be passed by every adult in my home?
You will not be approved as a kinship foster parent if you or any other adult in your home have been convicted of violent or sexual crime.
Am I prepared to do the required training?
Free training classes will be provided by the foster care agency to help you prepare to be a kinship foster parent.
As a kinship foster parent, can I love and accept a child who is not my biological child?
A foster child needs to be treated as a fully fledged member of the family, with the same privileges as other children of a similar age in the home. They are probably not going to be on their best behavior or show their gratitude to you for allowing them to be in your home. This is why you need to be a loving parental figure to the child.
If you feel you are ready to become a kinship foster parent after having read these questions, then get in touch with the children’s case worker or foster care agency. If you live in Texas, you can start by calling us at Kids First for more information.