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October 2022Vol. 23, No. 8Tips for Emergency Foster Care Parents

Emergency foster care is a critical and immediate service provided by child welfare systems to keep children safe until a more long-term care solution can be arranged. Children who enter emergency care often do so in a fragile state, having experienced trauma and struggling to cope. Being an emergency foster parent is a rewarding job, but it’s important to understand the challenges and expectations associated with this service.

According to an article by TFI, emergency foster care providers should be able to do the following:

  • Respond with little or no notice. Be prepared. You and your home should be ready at a moment’s noticeday or nightto receive a child in need of emergency care.
  • Care for a traumatized child. Be patient, provide a stable living environment, and help the child feel wanted and loved.
  • Get supplies. Many children in need of emergency care often arrive with only the clothes on their back. Plan ahead and stock up on basic items that a child (and you) may need. Consider creating or searching online for a checklist of things to include.
  • Seek information. From the moment a call for emergency care is received, take notes and collect and keep track of important forms and information.
  • Communicate with your agency. Keep the agency informed of your availability and any other personal or family needs or concerns pertinent to your role as an emergency care provider.

TFI is a private, not-for-profit organization providing foster care services and care for children and families in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The article, "5 Tips for Emergency Foster Care Parents," is available on the TFI website.