How to Encourage Your Spouse to Become a Foster Parent, Even If They Are Afraid to Take the Leap
14th of July 2022
I’ve heard this statement time and time again: “Eve, I’d love to become a foster parent, but my partner does not approve.” Although I can definitely understand that this can be a sensitive issue that may spark a debate, I don’t believe that all is lost if your partner is less than thrilled about fostering.
Here’s what I know: So many people believe the myths they’ve heard or read about fostering or foster youth, but don’t truly know all of the facts. Giving your partner the facts on fostering, as well as being around happy foster parents, may convince them to try fostering. Here are some key tips to help your spouse become as excited as you are about fostering:
1. Don’t accept your spouse’s “No” response without obtaining more information. Ask them why they don’t want to foster. Is it fear? Lack of time? Worried about being overwhelmed? Asking them specific reasons why they oppose fostering will help you obtain the information you need to educate them about how to overcome that specific challenge.
2. Ask your significant other what would make them more open to fostering. Your partner may be able to state the reasons why they are opposed to fostering, but try to open their minds by asking them a different question. When you ask them what would make them open to fostering, you’ll learn what you’ll need to do to get to a “Yes” answer much faster.
3. Attend foster parent meetings. One of the best ways to get your partner on board to foster, is for them to be around positive foster parents who can talk to them about their experiences. This is key, because it will cause them to start imaging what’s possible as a foster parent. When your spouse hears stories that conflict with their current beliefs about fostering, they will start to question what they believe, and may start to be more open to fostering.
4. Show them positive videos of foster youth or foster families. Visually seeing other families similar to yours who are speaking highly of their foster youth, can help change your spouse’s perspective on fostering, especially if they are fearful of having a new child in the home, or are concerned about challenging behaviors.
5. Attend foster care orientations. Attending orientations is a great way of learning more about the certification process, and what to expect when a new child moves in. This may alleviate some apprehension from your spouse, because they will learn about the process in a more detailed way, and understand that they will receive 24-7 support, and so much more. They can also address their concerns and get the answers they need to move forward in their fostering journey.
6. Sign up to become a respite parent. If your partner is hesitant about fostering due to having a busy schedule, discussing respite care may be a great starting point! With respite care, you are able to care for a child when your schedule permits, and you’ll be able to see if fostering full time is right for you.
If you’d like to learn more, please schedule an appointment when it is convenient for you and your spouse.
Eve Powers, Foster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.