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markdworthenpsyd9 karma

As a complement to six7s' excellent response:

~ Ask successful foster and adoptive parents for advice. (I understand 'successful' is open to interpretation.)

~ Read books, articles, blogs, etc., written by foster/adoptive parents and by folks like the OP who were in foster care and/or adopted. Read both good and bad experiences.

~ Assess carefully your ability to care for a child who will (understandably) test you, particularly with regard to whether or not you genuinely care and will not abandon him or her. It's probably best to underestimate, at least to some extent, your capacity to parent a foster child.

~ A big heart is essential--and will go a long way--but it's probably not enough in most instances. Endurance, steadfast commitment, knowledge, skills, and support are also required.

~ Do not agree to foster care without knowing a lot about the child, e.g., developmental history, psych problems (if present), medical needs, biological family involvement.

~ Do not foster a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder without extensive specialized training and support.

~ My suggestions might come across as 'negative', but keep in mind that many children are shuffled from one foster family to another to another because the foster parents are not adequately prepared.

markdworthenpsyd1 karma

When you were a child of CPS, did you see any psychologists, counselors, doctors, or social workers who genuinely cared about you, and helped you?