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6 Characteristics of Successful Foster and Adoptive Parents

December 27, 2019 / by Victor Staff

foster parent word cloud shutterstock_474361594Deciding whether foster parenting and/or adoption is right for you and your family can raise a lot of questions. As a prospective foster or adoptive parent, the fact that you’re even considering making a difference in the lives of kids means your heart is in the right place. But as you consider becoming a foster parent and await the right placement for you, there are some key characteristics that will help you transition into the role.

Certain family qualities may contribute to a successful adoption experience. All families and children are different, but certain parenting traits can ease the process of fostering and adopting children who have been in foster care.

Some qualities identified by the National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (NTDC) include a willingness to commit the time needed to be attuned and present for children and youth, to blend family traditions to honor and/or include siblings and extended family, and adapt expectations based upon the unique developmental needs of children and youth.

Successful foster and adoptive parents may need to develop the following characteristics:

1.  Flexibility

Learning and using a new set of parenting skills and strategies to support youth who have experienced separation and loss

2.  Patience

Working on developing healthy attachments over an extended period of time

3.  Nurturing

Seeing discipline as an opportunity to support children and youth in learning and growing rather than as a punishment

4.  Compassion

Using strategies to convey compassion and having compassion for birth parents and the challenges they may face

5.  Adaptability

Understanding the importance of adapting parental expectations

6.  Sense of Humor

Using humor to manage stress, express feelings, and de-escalate tense situations and being able to laugh at one’s self and not take everything seriously

You may need to change your approaches to parenting to understand and validate the overlapping identities and lived experiences of your child. It will be helpful for you to identify your existing parenting practices that may need to be adjusted to meet the emotional, developmental, social, and physical needs of children and youth who have experienced separation, loss, and other forms of trauma.

At Victor Treatment Centers we give neglected and abused children and teens a safe, caring home during a season when their birth parents are struggling or need some time to recover from challenges.

We provide a holistic approach to helping families reunify if possible or find permanent placement.

You provide the home and the heart we provide the support you need to change the life of a young person.

At Victor Treatment Centers our mission is to be a catalyst for sustained improvement in the lives of those we touch. Together, we can help our kids and families soar.

Become a Resource Family

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019). Families considering foster care and adoption. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau.

Topics: foster care, adoption

Victor Staff

Written by Victor Staff

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