Five Major Challenges New Foster Parents Experience

Five Major Challenges New Foster Parents Experience – For those who have been thinking about becoming a foster parent, the road you’ll take isn’t easy. COAD4Kids – New Philadelphia has all the tools to help ease your transition into foster parenthood. Learn more about how to start your journey as a foster parent right here on Newsymom!

Helping hands comes to you in partnership with COAD4Kids. 

In Ohio, the foster care system is currently overwhelmed. The need for awesome foster parents is so great, and the kids in the system deserve wonderful, caring people to care for them while their living situations are uncertain.

However, if you think the process to become a foster parent is easy, it’s not. There are lots of unique challenges foster parents face. Here are the top five:

Becoming Licensed

The first major hurdle that foster parents face is becoming licensed. It’s a lengthy process, filled with lots of appointments, meetings, inspections, and paperwork! Some of what you’ll experience during this process:

  • Tons of paperwork about your history including where you’ve lived, financial status, assets you own, and your own familial history growing up
  • Interviews of references, family members, and friends
  • Medical check-up deeming you appropriate for foster care
  • Licensing courses on a variety of topics, including but not limited to: trauma, sexual assault, relating to your foster child, and child development!
  • Home study, where a worker tours your home and interviews you and your family
  • Fire inspection by your local fire department (checking your working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detector, emergency evacuation plans, etc.)

Once you successfully complete all the steps above (in a process that will likely take months), you’ll be recommended to the state to become licensed for foster care!

Adjusting to Placements In Your Home

After becoming licensed, you’ll be thrilled and overwhelmed with joy when you get your first call for a placement needing a home! After the initial shock wears off, you’ll be greeted by a child with a background and behaviors you likely know nothing about.

It’s a wild adjustment having a kid with an uncertain background in your home. The biggest challenge is finding that happy medium of implementing your structures and routines with a child you know nothing about. Take it one day at a time, learn through their own behaviors what they’ve been used to, and add a new piece of structure regularly until you find what works!

Then Come the Meetings, Appointments, and Visits…

A big difference when taking in a foster child are all the appointments you’ll be taking as well! These children could’ve been neglected, assaulted, etc. and will need a physical examination done. They’ll also need appointments with a therapist or behavioral specialist, social worker, and family visits as well!

With family visits, another curveball may get thrown when you have a child whose family member inconsistently shows up for visits, whether it’s due to addiction or mental health issues. You might get hit with the question, Why don’t they want to see me? Be prepared and discuss as much as possible with the social worker. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Add In Some Rules and Regulations…

When you’re a foster parent, there are rules and regulations put in place to protect both you and the child who’s in your home. Every allegation is investigated, even if a child lies. And if a child goes AWOL, you’re required to notify the assigned social worker who will take it from there with law enforcement. (Meaning, you don’t go looking for the child yourself.)

Being that a foster parent is more like a mentor rather than guardian, you may also have to ask for permission for various things such as: haircuts, vacations out of state, or even birthday parties! 

And Finally, The Uncertainty!

Everything about being a foster parent is uncertain. You’re uncertain about the child’s background. You’re uncertain about the lifestyle they’re used to and their memories. You’re even uncertain about their future, as you don’t know how long they’ll be in your care or when they’ll be reunited with family.

If there’s one piece of advice to take as you venture into foster parenthood, be able to navigate changes gracefully! They’re always occurring, and no matter how many questions you ask, you’ll always leave having more questions than answers.

Be Ahead of the Game By Taking Parenting Education Now

You can help ramp up your parenting know-how by taking a free Parenting Education Course offered by our friends at COAD4KidsNew Philadelphia! You’ll cover some of these parenting hot topics:

  • Kids interrupting
  • Getting ready at bedtime
  • Acting up in public
  • Conflicts with peers
  • Sibling conflicts

Taking this self-paced class will earn you a $30 gift card towards groceries or gas! You can learn more about this class by contacting Kaylee Hambleton at (740) 856-7959 or shoot an email over to for more info. 

Becoming a foster parent is a challenge, but it’s so worth it! Start your foster parenting journey by contacting COAD4KidsNew Philadelphia via email at or call (740) 856-7330. Keep following along at COAD4Kids – New Philadelphia on Facebook for the latest on foster parenting and child care resources!

Melissa Klatt


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