Getting your first foster license and officially being able to take someone into your care is a great feeling. That said, you need to realize that it's only step one. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind while you wait to be connected with your first child.
This should go without saying, but it's also exactly where some potential foster parents get into trouble. Once you are licensed, you are obviously going to be very excited. But you should realize that it can still take some time for the agency you are working with to find you your first placement. There might be a waiting list with other potential foster parents in front of you. Becoming irritated or taking out your frustration with the wait on the agency staff is not going to do you any favors. Keep quiet and simply wait it out.
While you wait, it's likely the foster agency you are working with will give you some tips to help you prepare. One of those tips could be a list of successful mentors in the area. Reach out to other foster parents for best tips and practices. It can be quite helpful to have someone you can reach out to for help the first time your foster child acts up. If you can't find anyone in real life, there are always a number of foster communities online where you can connect with people. Start preparing your support group now so that you don't have to go scrambling for answers after your placement arrives.
Prepare for Disappointment
If your long-term goal is to adopt and take a child into your home and life forever, that's great. But you need to understand that the foster system almost always tends to prefer to put children with their blood family when possible. You could receive a child into your care, hit it off really well, connect with them emotionally... and then find out that their mother or father is suddenly back in their life and wants them back. You need to be mentally prepared for any outcome as a foster parent. Your first placement might not be your forever child. But that's OK.
Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? If so, the first step is to get properly licensed. Contact an expert on the foster care licensing process today for more information. After you get your license, be patient, organize your support network and prepare mentally for what could be a long road ahead. For more information, contact a company like Kids Count Too.