Does your heart break at the thought of 500,000 kids in the U.S. foster system?

If you have ever thought making a difference in the life of a child, consider being a foster parent.

You have heard the stories about the hurting kids in our country; abuse, neglect, drugs  - it’s a sad place for many children in our county.  There is a big need for caring responsible adults to step in and help take care of kids in foster care. If you have a little extra room in your home and in your hear, you can make a difference. It’s not as hard or expensive as you may think.

There are about seven steps you take on the road to becoming a foster parent. While taking these steps, you will answer questions that you have never asked yourself. You will be saddened by the reason our country needs foster care, but will also feel empowered to make a difference in the life of a child.

Step 1: Go to a foster/adopt orientation meeting at your county Child Protective Service (CPS) building. Here you will receive information, and application, and get a lot of early questions answered.

Step 2: Fill out the application. This is one of the most uncomfortable steps because this application is very personal, and requires a lot of thought. This is also the time where you provide fingerprints ($15 a person), references, and they begin the background check.

Step 3: Take 25 hours of training. These hours are broken up into two sections; 16 in class provided by the state and nine hours of books or DVD training. The in-class is a great time to meet other future foster parents, and develop some friendships that will make you feel no so alone in the near future.

Step 4: Time for the Home Study. This is a 3-part interview starring you, your spouse, and your biological children. At the end of it all, the caseworker will know more about you than anyone ever should. The caseworker is not looking for flaws. They are interested in the dynamics of your family, to better understand how you handle situations.

Step 5: CPR training. This class is paid for by the state and is mandatory for all foster parents.

Step 6: Physicals for each adult in your home.  (cost of your co-pay)

Step 7: Wait, wait, and then wait some more.  It takes the caseworker 21-30 days to write a “book” about you, including every detail of your family and home. After she has finished this project, the certification can take place, and the waiting for a placement may begin.

Over 500,000 kids in the United States are in foster care. The need for loving homes to keep kids safe during the scariest time in their lives is undeniable. The steps to help are simple. The impact is forever.