Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
If you want to become a foster parent, you have to go through an application process. You can almost think of it like a job application in a way, because you need to prove that you're the right person for the job of caring for a foster child.
If you've ever applied for a job before, you know that you're usually asked for references. Personal, professional, in some way you need to give the names of some people who can talk you up to your prospective employer. I'm in the process of finding a job right now (yeah, my parents are pretty much over this whole lazy bum freeloader deal I've had going on since graduation... time to be a grown-up!), and I was thinking about who I could ask to be a reference. I know that you usually need three references, but do they have to be three professional references, or should there be a personal reference in there? There's a lot to think about.
When you're trying to become a foster parent, you need to have references as well. You need to find people who know your family and can speak to the kind of foster parents you would be. Of course you don't know what the future holds, or how your foster care journey will unfold, but even before you commit to caring for foster children, your friends and family know what kind of a person you are. They know if you are the type of loving, caring person who will be able to open their home and their heart to children who need support. To become foster parents in New York, you need to have three references who are not related to you, and one reference who is a relative.
How do you choose your references? Let's be honest, no one is going to pick someone with whom they've had a rocky relationship in the past. You're going to pick the boss that gave you a promotion as a reference over the boss who rubbed you the wrong way at the staff meeting. You'd rather have your childhood best friend speak highly of you than ask the neighbor who just moved in. But you want to pick someone as a reference who will do a good job talking about the qualities that make you perfect for the job at hand, rather than just saying how awesome you are. You want to find someone who will speak to certain experiences that you've had, or situations in which you've exhibited behaviors that show you're the best person for a certain job.
It can be difficult to find the perfect references. It's hard enough to find them when you're applying for a job, but the pressure's on when you need references in order to become foster parents! Make sure you think long and hard before asking someone to help you take the next step in your foster care journey.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.