What is the purpose of foster care?
The purpose of foster care is to protect children and strengthen families by providing a safe, loving and nurturing environment. A foster family provides the child with stability that is seen as complementary to the child’s biological parents rather than as a substitute family.
This view of the foster family as an extension to the biological family, rather than the replacement, will reduce conflict between foster parents and biological parents. A foster parent’s role is to assist the child and his/her family with reunification, if that is the plan.
The length of time each child remains in care is determined by the needs of the child and his/her family situation.
You, as a foster parent will require a great amount of warmth, tolerance and understanding to be temporary mother or father to someone else’s child. The experience will demand a lot of time and effort on your part as well as on the part of your children.
As a foster parent you are being asked to
- Accept and love a child who may not be able to give much in return;
- Guide, protect and help the child develop mentally, emotionally, physically, educationally spiritually and culturally; and
- Provide the child with food, clothing and shelter