Building relationships with biological parents is part of fostering that we don’t always think about or prepare for when we start our journey to become foster parents. We sign up for this to welcome children into our home, we think hard over our homestudy and parenting philosophy, and we ready our homes, but we usually don’t spend much energy thinking about how we’ll deal with their families. Sometimes bio parents are dangerous or uncooperative, but most of the time you’re dealing with hurting moms and dads at a difficult point in their lives, and building a good working relationship with the parents can make a huge difference for everyone involved.
Today, I’m sharing a tip from a foster family that goes above and beyond to minister to not only the children in their care but also their families. And, no surprise, they’ve had wonderful experiences co-parenting and developing a lasting connection with the families they’ve worked with. At the first meeting for a new placement, they hand out these introductions to the bio parents:
Here’s a closer look at each section:
I love this introduction! This would definitely put my mind at ease knowing that my child is in a stable and loving home with people who’ve had plenty of training and experience working with kids.
Allee explained the reason for this section by saying, “My goal is to have a conversation with bio parents at the first team meeting and explain what a foster parent does (because most have no clue what a foster parent actually does- they just know you have their child).”
It doesn’t have to be us vs. them! This section clearly communicates that we’re all on the same team and these foster parents’ desire is for the family to stay intact, not to steal their children.
Lastly, we have a photo of the child’s room. This gives a great visual for the parents so they’ll always be able to picture where their child is staying.
If you want to use the same program they did to create your own introduction, you can go to https://www.canva.com/. Their mission is to spread the love, so feel free to borrow any ideas from their intro! Meeting bio parents for the first time can be nerve wracking. This takes the pressure off of knowing what to say and sets you up for open communication down the road.