Foster Parenting - Top 3 Fostering Resources


I am not an expert on foster parenting, nor am I a professional social worker. However, I've learned a lot about foster parenting in the last two years, as I trained and served as foster parent. So I am passing along my Top 3 Resources for learning about fostering.

#3 - Your fostering agency. Depending on your state, there will be anywhere from 10 to 30 hours of pre-training required to become a foster parent. Those hours of training are helpful and provide a framework for understanding "the system." That is the time to ask questions and seek clarification, to better understand the role of the foster parent, the fostering agency, the case workers, and others. With that said, though, I would still only list this as the 3rd most helpful resource. I found the training to be helpful but not as helpful as it could've been. They provided some answers, but also left many questions unanswered. In many ways, we walked out of training with limited knowledge and didn't even know what questions we should've been asking at that point. We didn't know what all we didn't know yet.

That leads to an even more helpful resource:

#2 - The internet. I found it very helpful to locate my state's Department of Child Services website and read through their online foster parenting manual. Almost any question I had about procedures or technicalities (like, can you cut a foster child's hair without their parents' permission) was addressed in the state manual. It's lengthy and wordy (similar to trying to read the tax code)
but it was also pain-stakingly thorough, which is what I wanted when I had a specific question needing answered.

However, there was still one more resource that proved to be even more helpful in preparing me to be a foster parent:

#1 - A foster parenting podcast found here at This podcast is simply a California couple - Tim and Wendy - chronicling their years of experiences as foster parents. They are quirky and fun to listen to. They are Christians, so I can appreciate their heart as they approach fostering. And they are very honest about their experiences. My husband stumbled upon their podcast when we were just starting our foster parenting training. Their advice and tips were more valuable than any other training we had. I
started listening at episode 1 and listened all the way through to the current episode (as I write this, there are 109 episodes, each from 20 to 35 minutes in length). They have addressed everything related to foster parenting - attachment, discipline, security, schooling, therapy, relationships with birth parents, the role of the case workers, etc. They have fostered over a dozen children and ended up adopting two young girls through the foster care system a few years ago. They tell it like it is and don't sugar-coat the hard stuff. The only caveat is that they are in California so listeners must take that into account and consider laws and regulations in their own state, which may differ (quite a bit, even) from California.

If you are thinking of fostering or just want to learn more, I strongly encourage you to start by listening to Tim and Wendy's podcast to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly of foster parenting... and the reasons why you should still seriously consider it!


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