Part of our licensing process is determining what kids we are able to take in to our home. Our agency asked for our specifics on what age, gender and race we were willing to accept along with a whole check list of behaviors and special needs. Honestly, it felt sort of awful checking off certain characteristics we were willing to accept while skipping over others.
My parents have custody of my fifteen year old cousin (Shout-out to Emily!) and they have become great friends with their first social worker. We were able to meet him at my parent’s house one week. He gave us great advice – do not take on any kids you do not feel prepared to handle. Part of us wants to say, “We will take any kids who need a home” but we know there are certain kids that probably would not be a good fit for our family (at least at this point in our lives).
At our last class we turned in our paperwork saying that we would accept newborn to four years old. We also said we would like boys but should there be a sibling set of a brother and sister we are willing to accept that situation as well. We are willing to accept children outside of our race. On the checklist of special needs and behaviors, we checked several that we felt prepared to work with.
I definitely felt guilty leaving out older children and certain special needs on our forms. As two twenty-six year olds, we just felt like taking on pre-teens and teenagers would not give us much of an age gap between ourselves and them. Someday we will probably be open to that option though as there is a huge need for people who are willing to foster teens.