The Ideal Foster Care Parent: Strengths and Qualifications

Foster care is a vital and necessary part of the world we live in. To be an effective and ideal substitute parent, one must possess a multitude of strengths and skills.

Have you been considering becoming a foster care parent? If so, there is an ideal picture of what the successful substitute parent looks like.

mother child handFoster care becomes necessary when child neglect and abuse are evident. It's vital the children are removed from the toxic and sometimes dangerous home of their birth families for their own protection. It's hoped the temporary or permanent adoptive family be the right kind of people in order to help stabilize the lives and emotions of these abused children. And it's always the goal the original family will be reunited once more.


There are many legalities of becoming a foster care parent, but let's look at what the heart and home of one resembles.

1. It's most likely going to be a temporary home. Of utmost importance it should be a safe, secure environment.

2. It's certainly more than just opening your doors to offer food, clothing and a place to sleep at night. More than anything else, your parenting ought to be proactive, loving and nurturing.

3. You need to desire to help struggling children. The ideal foster care parent should have the utmost patience, understanding and flexibility.

4. Open communication between substitute parent and child is a must.

5. You will need to be strong enough to define parameters and limits for the children whether the child likes them or not.

6. And a sense of humor is a must as often this will carry a stressful situation to a happy end.

7. Substitute parents must display strong, but loving disciplinary skills and realize discipline is something you do for a child and not to him.

8. Foster care children come in all colors, shapes and personalities. It's important the ideal substitute parent be open to diversity of every kind. These are human beings, but first of all, they're children who are most likely hurting and confused.

9. One of the keys to becoming the best substitute parent you can possibly be is that you sincerely want to help children. That sounds simplistic, but it's so true.

10. And you need the ability to establish and teach social skills to these children so they can one day become a vital part of their community.


These children need emotionally-stable and loving adult role models. They struggle every day with negative emotions like low self worth or bitterness, behavior issues and their ability to trust anyone. It must be noted, the rewards of being a foster parent far outweigh whatever challenges are involved.


Becoming a substitute parent is often the hardest, most challenging thing you will ever do. But, it also can be the most rewarding. Often, you've given all you can give as far as the necessities of life and love from your heart to a child you hardly know only to have an emotional door closed in your face. But many parents testify that, even in their most difficult situations, they would do it all over again if given the chance.

Members & Volunteers