Question: What is the hardest part of being a foster parent?

Question: What is the hardest part of being a foster parent?


This question could have a different answer depending on what foster parent you talk with but, here are the top two  based off of conversations with foster parents:


  1. Not being able to make decisions for your foster child’s future.

When a child is in foster care they are considered a ward of the state. This means that their case manager takes on the role of being the legal guardian. They are not only responsible for the child on the caseload but also responsible for working with their birth family to resolve the reason their child came into care. As a foster parent, you spend every day with the child in your care yet all major decisions in their life are out of your control; anything from medical needs, haircut styles, whether they go on vacation, scheduled visits with birth family, and much more is put in place by the case manager. As a foster parent, your role is to love this child and care for them to the best of your ability, advocate for their needs, and trust the case manager with their future.

  1. Having to say goodbye.

We hear often “I could never foster because I would love the child too much and not be able to say goodbye. As a foster parent, it is impossible to not love a child that you have cared for day in and day out; walked through trauma, shared their joys, taken to doctors’ appointments, celebrated birthdays, etc. In foster care, the kids are often in limbo. One day it sounds like they will be staying and the very next everything can change. Being a foster parent means that you choose to love a child that you may not get to see grow up but, you get to make a huge impact on their now.  No matter what, a foster parent leaves lasting fingerprints on the child they care for even if in the end they have to say goodbye. What foster parents do and sacrifice for kids in their care makes a difference.


We are thankful for all of Arizona’s current and past foster parents who have loved and sacrificed to bring hope to Arizona’s kids. If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent, click



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