Amazing Things You Can Do For Your Foster Child

There are a few things many foster kids don't ever get to experience- but that doesn't mean they don't HAVE to experience them. As a foster parent, you're job isn't only to care for the child, but to FOSTER opportunities for them as well. Give them a chance to experience things. There are so many ways you can do this. And they take such little effort, but make such a big impact...

Let Them Foster A Pet: Most kids, while in foster care, will never own a pet. If your child shows an interest in having an animal companion, perhaps you should discuss allowing them to foster one. Explain the process to them ahead of time so they know what it entails and then allow them to decide. Fostering pets is not a long-term commitment, but it's a great way for your child to be involved in charity work, have a pet, and openly talk about the foster parenting process (using their experience fostering an animal to talk about their experiences being fostered as well).

Redecorate Their Room: You don't have to paint the walls, but let them personalize their space. New bedding, wall stickers, curtains, and floor rugs are great and affordable ways to let your child personalize their space. Very few foster children get to live in a room that is truly theirs. By letting them decorate their own area, you say to them "while you're here- this is your home". Rather than "while you're here- this is the house you live in".

Go 'Birthday Decoration' Shopping: Birthdays are a huge deal in my house. We go all out. And it's for a good reason. Some foster kids have had birthdays completely forgotten in the past. Others have had nonchalant parties. We always do pretty big festivities- and we do it for a multitude of reasons. The first being that it shows the child they're worth celebrating. And it also gives them a chance to experience something every kid should have the chance to do- have a big birthday.

Let Them Pick Holiday Meals: Holiday meals are a big event in any household. By allowing your foster child to pick a course or two, you're letting them be involved. It gives them away to make the holidays personal, and it also lets them know their opinion is valued. Also welcome them to help you cook the courses they picked!

Open A Bank Account: Not all social workers really like the idea of foster kids having a bank account. There's a lot of extra legalities that go with it. If your social worker won't let you open a bank account for the child- ask about a trust fund (that they can access at 18 or 21). Bank accounts are a great way to teach your child about money management. And so many foster kids go through life without having any banking experience. Showing them the ropes at an early age can open up opportunities for them later in life.

Give Them Extra-Curricular Opportunities: Ballet, karate, art classes, volunteering opportunities, community events, school sports and teams. Lots of foster children are interested in experiencing these things, but don't feel like they're "allowed to". Let them know that they can sign up and try out for anything they want- and help them find classes if you can. Extra curricular activities help your child develop teamwork skills, communication skills, leadership, and confidence. There are many organizations dedicated to helping provide financial help to foster kids who want to do these things as well. So if you can't afford it- there are organizations who can help make it possible.

Let Them Have Sleepovers: I really cannot express how important sleepovers are! They are such a fond memory for so many people (including you- probably!). So don't take away your child's chance to safely interact with their peers. They'll be in your home, with your rules, and you can supervise them. But they also get to have the fun chance to hang out outside of school- and be awake all through the night. It's such a neat thing for kids, and foster kids should be able to experience that too.

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