If you have the space, time, and inclination, please become licensed as a foster parent.
Leaders in the incoming Trump administration have made it clear that they intend to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Children born in the United States are citizens no matter what their parents’ immigration status is. Even while their parents are forced to leave, they may remain in the United States. Deportation may result in more children entering the foster care system.
Children of immigrants aren’t the only ones at risk of needing foster care. Children may face a variety of unfortunate situations which separate them from their families. These children need foster care. Yet foster care systems in every state are already at capacity.
Who will make a difference for all these children? Foster parents: ordinary people who choose to open their homes to children who need a home, for a short time or sometimes a longer time, until they can be with their forever family.
What does it mean to be a foster parent?
Foster care involves opening your home to a child who needs to be in a safe and stable environment. Sometimes for a week, sometimes for a month, maybe longer. Signing up to be a foster parent is essentially a formal commitment to be willing to open your door when a child needs a safe and stable temporary place to stay.
What steps do you take to become a foster parent?
There are several steps. In most states, you do some combination of a criminal background check, a visit at your home with a social worker, and a training program. During that training and licensing process, you may consider your strengths and limitations, and your caseworker will help you decide some of the details about the children you will be a best match for, such as age ranges.
This process takes time. You will have plenty of time to decide whether becoming a foster parent is right for you.
We need to work together to keep our children safe.
For more information:
State-by-state adoption & foster care information from Adopt US Kids, operated by the Adoption Exchange Association.
More thoughts on the Trump administration, immigration, and foster care: Trump, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice.