Skip to Content


Ways to be a good foster parent – I have been so excited about this post and gathering information for it. Being a foster parent is a hard and difficult task — but also a rewarding one!  It can be tough to navigate the relationship between handpicked and biological children.

We have quite a few friends who are foster parents so I asked some of them the question “What do you think makes a good foster parent? Do you have tips for other foster families?” I absolutely loved the conversation that it started and I am excited to share the tips from these foster families.

Here are 14 WAYS TO BE A GOOD FOSTER PARENT from full-fledged foster parents!

Being a foster parent is a hard and difficult task -- but also a rewarding one! Here are 14 WAYS TO BE A GOOD FOSTER PARENT from full-fledged foster parents

Family image via Shutterstock


#1)  When kids move out, NEVER pack their things in garbage bags. By doing this, you are telling them their stuff is garbage.

#2)  Send update letters/pictures to the biological family if possible (or allowed).  It makes them feel connected.

#3)  Never talk bad about the biological parents. They’ve made mistakes and the kids need to understand that you don’t write people off for making mistakes.

#4)  “Handpicked” kids love personalized things. Name signs to hang on their doors and anything that belongs specifically to them.

#5)  Keep routines and keep boundaries. No matter how hard it is, it’s the best way to show kids love.

#6)  Take time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty about the time you need for yourself — you deserve it.

#7)  If you have biological kids, take time for them too. It’s ok to have one on one time with them.

#8)  Just like any parent, you want to spend quality time with them, getting to know their passions and interests. Of course, to build a strong attachment means to nurture their physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs. They come at different levels of development. The challenge is to find what’s missing and fill it in.

#9)  Each and every child is different and have different needs.

#10)  Don’t be afraid to leave everything you’re doing just take care of your child.

#11)  Going to therapy with your child can be beneficial to help you both understand how to deal with different issues.

#12)  Teach trust.

#13)  Be careful with hugging. It doesn’t always represent love.

#14)  And above all else — LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY no matter what!

I would love to hear from you – what other things would you add to this list. Please leave a comment below.

A special thanks to Mindy and other foster moms from Southern Manitoba for their contributions to this post. 

A family day a the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum.


You can sign-up to get an email update each day. You can also connect with us on:

Jewel Graham

Sunday 11th of November 2018

I have been thinking about becoming a foster parent but dont know anything or anyone to ask what the process is in becoming one. What is allowed and not. What do they look for in a foster parent. Are you able to specify an age, sex and nationality.


Saturday 23rd of January 2021

If you get in touch with the local council they will be able to help cause if they don't they should know who would be the most recommended. My wife and I are going through the fostering process and not far of finishing which has taken just under six months. In regards to choosing a sex etc your social worker would be best tip ask. You get a print off for each child that might say there religion, sex, if in trouble on remand from police or courts and why they're being fostered. I must say that it has been soul destroying in hearing some of the stories but over all its been well worth it. Good luck and all the best.