During the process of becoming an eligible foster parent, you will be expected to complete foster care training classes. These classes ensure you are ready to foster a child and allow the agency you are working with to get to know you a bit better. Depending on your location and the agency you work with, these classes may be once a week or several times a week and can last anywhere from one week to a month or longer. 

Attending foster care training is a required step to becoming a foster care provider, but it is also helpful for future foster parents. Below are some of the reasons why these classes will help you. 

You Will Learn About Special Needs Related to Foster Children 

Almost all foster children have experienced some degree of emotional or physical trauma. This can make it difficult for them to trust or form bonds with adults and may lead to behavioral issues. It is important for you to understand the range of behaviors you may experience with foster children as well as understanding how to cope with them and get your foster children any help they might need. 

You Will Get To Know the Agency You Are Working With 

Each foster care agency offers different kinds of support services for their foster families. During training, you will learn about the services available to you and how to access them when you need them. You will also get to know some of the people working at the agency, so you know who to contact when you have questions or concerns. 

You Will Have the Opportunity to Ask Questions

Becoming a foster guardian is a big commitment, and as such, it is natural to want to understand the details of the agreement you are entering. Most training sessions allow ample time for questions and discussions so you can fully understand the fostering process. 

You Will Meet Other Foster Parents 

Fostering is a unique experience, with many challenges and rewards other parents may not fully understand. During training sessions, you will meet other foster parents, and you have the opportunity to form a support network so you will have people to share your experiences with. 

Many foster parents, especially those who already have children, may wonder why they have to attend parenting classes. It is helpful to keep in mind that these training sessions don't focus on general parenting skills, but instead on developing the skills and strategies necessary to become a successful foster parent. To learn more about the foster care training process, reach out to a local foster care agency.