Choosing to become a foster parent will be one of the biggest, most important decisions of your life and it will very likely be the most rewarding one too. Of course, there are going to be challenging moments and you’re going to have to spend some time learning new skills. Particularly if you’re going to be a parent for the first time, you might want to put some time into learning as much as you can about what it means to be a foster parent, and some of the challenges you might expect to face along the way.

To help you on this most rewarding journey, there is a treasure trove of essential books that will provide you with the guidance and skills you’ll need to be the best foster parent you can be. Here are a few of the top picks you should read right now.

Keep The Doors Open By Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry provides an honest, heartfelt and incredibly heart-warming collection of foster care stories, lessons learned and advice. In her book, subtitled Lessons Learned from a Year of Foster Parenting, you get a first-hand account of a full year of being foster parents from a couple who have spent nine years fostering twenty-three children. If you’ve ever wanted to really know what you’re in for when you send in your foster care application to a foster care agency like Fostering People, this is the book for you. By the end of the book, you’ll be ready to open your doors.

Too Scared To Cry By Maggie Hartley

Maggie Hartley is a veteran foster parent by all definitions of the word. She has fostered over 300 children, particularly those who have suffered the most extreme trauma. This book is a heart-wrenching affair of how the love of a kind stranger can make the biggest difference in a foster child’s life. It includes three short stories by the author, one of which explores the title of the book in detail about a particularly troubled trio of foster children. If you want to understand just why foster care is so important and the difference you’ll be making, this is an essential read.

A Child’s Journey Through Placement By Vera Fahlberg

This book is as informational as it is essential when you’re preparing to become or thinking of being a foster parent. It’s full of excellent and topical advice on how to help create a stable and supportive environment for foster children. It deals with topics like attachment and separation and offers a look into the psychology of adopted and fostered children and their development. If there’s a single book you’ll need to read, it’s this one.

These are just three incredible books on the subject of foster care, told from the perspective of foster parents. There are many other great books you should read, including a few from former foster kids on their experiences. Reading about real-world experiences will help you create a warm, loving and safe environment for your foster children, and that’s the most important role of a foster parent.

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