Let’s get started right out of the gate with THE question everybody asks: Why did you decide to become a single foster mom? Although there are many reasons for someone to become a foster parent, in this post I’ll discuss a few of my personal reasons.
The Reasons for Becoming a Single Foster Mom
Foster parents have a wide variety of answers to the question, “why are you doing foster care?” For me, my response varies based on the audience. I know that sounds like maybe I don’t have a clear reason, but in social work we are taught to “meet the client where they’re at,” so my answer will look different if I’m talking with a complete stranger or to my best friend.
And the truth is, I don’t have a clear singular reason- I have a few reasons! Here’s some of my top reasons for wanting to become a foster parent:
I’ll talk about the need more in-depth in this post, but the need for foster parents is large! In Colorado, there are more than double the number of children needing foster care placements as there are certified foster homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this need has grown even more and especially for non-group home foster care placements.
I speak Spanish and the unaccompanied minors at the US- Mexico border caught my attention. At the time I started becoming more serious about foster parenting, there were around 7,000 children detained in immigration detention centers.
I wanted to help, but donating money didn’t really seem like the best use of my resources.
I have always volunteered for various agencies working with youth. Like I mentioned, what really sparked my interest in foster parenting was the crisis at the Southern border. I volunteered with Casa de Paz for a short time, but in Colorado, there are no youth detention centers, and I am more passionate about helping children than I am adults. I have been a social worker in the school systems here in Colorado since 2014 and I thoroughly enjoy the work I do with teenagers.
However, I felt that my commitment in my personal life wasn’t as strong as I hope it will be. As a single person with no prospects of having children of my own, I felt I could commit to helping in a more significant way.
I am at a place in my life now where I’m financially stable enough to care for an additional person (or two!), and I don’t have other members of my family to consider in my decision about foster care. Except Chance the cat, and she’s all for it.
Even though I’m still relatively young, I’m also old enough to be past the partying and going out every weekend scene. I’m in that weird age where some of my friends have five children by now, and some still go out every weekend.
My own medical history
If you read my mom’s site- Farm To Jar– you might already know about my medical conditions. I was born with a “complex and complicated” (so the doctors say…) heart condition. My mom quit her office job to stay home with me and became a farmer/foodie.
Now, 30 years later, the doctors add “high risk” to their list of adjectives in regard to any pregnancy I may have. This led me to consider foster care much more seriously, as I always knew I wanted kids.
Other Reasons for Becoming a Single Foster Mom
As I said, there are probably as many reasons for becoming a foster parent as there are foster parents out there!
If you’re a foster parent or starting out on the path to becoming a foster parent I’d love to hear your reasons! Let me know in the comments why you are becoming a foster parent!
Notice that I didn’t mention extra money as a reason for wanting to foster. Foster parents who want to go into fostering as a source of income may be sorely surprised when they realize how small the stipend is in reality. In a future post, I will talk about the nitty gritty details of finances and explain some of the typical costs associated with fostering.