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Fostering question - Is this tacky?

PEPteach

Senior Member
As I shared before I am looking into fostering. The program is designed to keep kids OUT of the foster care system, so the parents voluntarily give their kids up until they can get their feet back on the ground/take care of what they need to. This means that a "job" could be just for a weekend, a month, 6 weeks, and in rare cases more long term.

I've been accepted but still have a home visit and training, so a lot of questions are still unanswered. I'm also still uncertain if this is for me, but I do want to pursue it. SO...I'm thinking of everything I might need. I don't know the age of the child I will get until right before I get them. I can accept/deny jobs, so I won't take any preteen/teens as I just don't think that's my area of expertise. But, I could get and am willing to accept 1 month old baby - through elementary school.

I think I can get by the first few days for ages 3 and up, but I know I would need things like a pack and play, booster seat/high chair, stroller, baby seat, etc. for a younger child. I don't really want to go all out and buy these items if this isn't going to work out as something I don't want to do long-term or if I end up getting older kids.

So - Is it tacky to put out a request on facebook and ask if any friends have these bigger ticket baby items they are not using that I could borrow if I get a child that I need it for? I don't want to seem like I'm unwilling to pay or take on that responsibility. I just want to do it wisely and not invest in something I won't use.
 
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Teacherbee_4

Senior Member
Not tacky

First, congratulations! That's a big, important job and it takes a special person. Hugs, blessings, and prayers for you! You have a big heart! Thank you for doing this!

Second, I don't see anything wrong with putting out a request, especially if you say why. I think people would be more than willing to help.

Third, you could also try Goodwill/Thrift stores and garage sales to see if you can find newer items at a reasonable price.

My friend does foster care. She was single (now dating someone), and really wanted to be a mom. She had several temporary placements, then 2 sisters came and stayed a long time. Eventually a TPR was done and she was able to legal adopt the two sisters. Later on, she had 2 siblings long term (over a year) before they went back to their birth parents. She then got 2 more siblings who stayed with her for 2+ years before a TPR was done and she adopted those as well. Currently she has those 4 who are now legally hers and she has 2 more she's fostering. She was fostering them for a year, they went back for a month and the parents got in trouble again and the kids were placed back with her. They've been back with her for about 6 months or so. She loves what she does. She has had to say at times, and she also sticks with babies through elementary school. She won't take teenagers/pre-teens either. She's a 3rd grade teacher. It's something I've thought about the behaviors they could possibly exhibit make me very nervous.
 

wildflowerz

Senior Member
Do you have room to store everything? I would be tempted to wait until a child is placed with you and then put out a request for help. My stepdaughter fostered a baby and put out a request on Facebook. The next day she got everything she needed and more.
 

Teacherbee_4

Senior Member
Waiting

The next day she got everything she needed and more.

I know sometimes this is possible, but I also know that sometimes they want the placement immediately and if you can't take the kid immediately, they try someone else on the list. My friend sometimes got a day or two notice, but a few times, we were in the lounge and she'd get a call asking her to take someone that day after school!
 

kahluablast

Senior Member
I agree that you might need some things, and some things you could do without until you actually had a placement. A stroller might not be something you need immediately, but you would need something for them to sleep in. Same with a high chair. Younger babies could be held while feeding if needed. A high chair could be asked for if you got a child of that age.

I might just kind of try to feel out friends: “I don’t need these things right now, but wonder how many people have items I could need if a child is placed with you: high chair, booster seat, etc….” Then you could see who has items stored that would be willing to loan them short term. Kind of put them on notice in case…
 
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PEPteach

Senior Member
I'm trying to clear out some space, but I don't have tons of storage. I think I could get a pack and play pretty quickly, which would probably be the most important thing. I have a few local people who have them and I think are at the stage where they really only use them for travel. The other stuff I'm really not sure. I could feel some people out.

First, congratulations! That's a big, important job and it takes a special person. Hugs, blessings, and prayers for you! You have a big heart! Thank you for doing this!
Thanks, Teacherbee! I really appreciate it. I enjoyed reading your friend's experience. I don't know where this will go, but I'm taking one small step at a time.
 

Lilbitkm

Senior Member
Do you have a free page for your town on Facebook? You could find many items this way.

I know that here, you would have to already have all of those items in the home already before being approved to take children that age into your home. So, you couldn’t take infant placements without confirmation that you have a place for them to sleep/eat/etc. A pack and play wouldn’t be sufficient unless it’s a newborn needing to be in your own bedroom (only age which would even be allowed to share your bedroom), it’d have to be a crib in their own dedicated bedroom.
 

jvar87

Senior Member
Just be careful with a used car seat. It’s super important to know the entire history of the seat- never in an accident, only washed according to manual instructions, never checked on a plane, etc in order to ensure a seat’s safety.

If you do end up wanting to buy or borrow a car seat before you get a placement, you’ll probably want a 3 in 1 convertible seat. It can be used rear facing for infants and toddlers (best to max rear facing limits- often 40lbs or 49” but it depends on the seat), forward facing for older children, and as a high booster seat for kids who are over 5, greater than 40lbs, and can sit properly 100% of the time.
 

teachnkids

Senior Member
The only thing I would absolutely make sure I had is a pack n play. They don’t take up much room.

I might also get a few bottles.

Other than that you can ask for/but as soon as you find out a placement.

I have a friend who had one baby and then was getting 2 more. She put out a FB post and was provided with tons quickly!

Car seats are a must, but you really have to know the age.
 

PEPteach

Senior Member
This is helping me think through things a bit more. I will have to see if a crib is necessary right away, but I don't think it is in this case. Obviously for something longer term, that would be better.

I'm hoping car seats come with the child. I would think they would be able to get that from the parents, but that's another good question to ask. A car booster seat would be an easy thing to have on hand for older kids who still need one.

I might also get a few bottles.
Yes, and I was thinking some kid-friendly plates and silverware. The list gets bigger!
 

Lilbitkm

Senior Member
I'm hoping car seats come with the child. I would think they would be able to get that from the parents, but that's another good question to ask. A car booster seat would be an easy thing to have on hand for older kids who still need one.

I know this isn’t necessarily a typical foster care situation but I wouldn’t count on this. Most placements come with very little, sometimes just the clothes they are wearing.
Car seats do expire after 6 years as well. A convertible seat as mentioned above would make the most sense.
 

jvar87

Senior Member
Some car seats last up to 10 years, depends on the brand and specific seat though. You may be surprised to find how many parents (not just in this type of situation, car seat user error is extremely high in general unfortunately) have their children in seats that are expired or in which children have outgrown the limits too, so I wouldn’t count on them coming with a usable seat.
 
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