Foster parents are everyday citizens with the resources and willingness to support and positively impact a child’s life. They become role models and truly change the course of the child’s future. Anyone over the age of 21 who possesses good physical and mental health, plus an adequate income, is eligible to become a foster parent. A foster parent’s role is to encourage healthy relationships between children and their caregivers, preparing those young individuals in need of an eventual reunion with their families or a permanent home through adoption. Foster parents are able to adopt the children they care for, and many organizations such as SAFY of America have Foster-To-Adopt programs specially designed for foster parents who intend to adopt a child. Children are matched with the strengths, abilities, and desires of potential foster parents, ensuring that adults never become responsible for children whom they are not prepared to nurture. Children in need of foster care come from a variety of backgrounds and represent the full spectrum of ages, ethnicities, and origins. Many children who require help have experienced trauma or abuse, often related to drugs, violence, or other forms of emotional abuse and neglect. They need a loving environment that will be patient with their behavioral and emotional issues, restoring the child’s faith and trust in adults. Foster homes are generally a temporary solution, lasting from a few days to years, often with the hope of finding a family willing to adopt. A monthly stipend helps cover the cost of foster care. In addition, all expenses are reimbursed including clothing and food. Children fostered through programs like SAFY possess medical and dental coverage. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, contact a foster program near you to receive further information. Generally, potential foster parents attend an informal meeting where they complete a foster application. Afterwards, foster parents attend training sessions and interact with program staff to ensure that the child goes to a good home.