How to write a reference for someone to become a foster parent

Written by kara page
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How to write a reference for someone to become a foster parent
A letter of recommendation for foster care is essential to finding a child to foster. (Getty Images)

If someone in your life has made the decision to become a foster parent, they may turn to you to write a letter of reference. These letters will be considered carefully as the organisation comes to a decision, and your letter should justify why, in your opinion, the individual or couple in question are capable of caring for a foster child. When you sit down to write the letter, consider personal anecdotes and memories of instances when the individual or couple displayed parental tendencies.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Brainstorm a few points you want to make about the foster parents-to-be. The organisation will want to have references that vouch for both their responsibility and love for children, so try to think of proof that supports your claims.

  2. 2

    Write a first draft of your reference letter. Open with a formal salutation that addresses the recipient by name; you may need to contact the organisation or agency to find out who will be considering the letter, but using her name will help establish a personal connection from the beginning.

  3. 3

    Write an introductory paragraph that explains who you are and what your relationship is with the foster parent in question. For example, "My name is Mary Jones and I have been a colleague of Sheila Brown for the past six years as teachers at Jackson Elementary School."

  4. 4

    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you believe the foster parent in question is an outstanding candidate, using the anecdotes or supporting facts you brainstormed in Step 1 to back up your claims. While this is a personal reference and should be written with emotion, a letter of recommendation is still a business letter and should keep a formal tone.

  5. 5

    Write a third paragraph explaining the foster parent's situation, such as whether he is married or single, what he does for a living (if you did not mention it in the introductory paragraph), and why you believe he wants to foster a child.

  6. 6

    Write a conclusion paragraph encouraging the organisation to contact you with any questions, and include a phone number or e-mail address. End with a formal closing like "sincerely" and your name. Proofread your letter, and ask at least two friends to proofread it for errors as well.

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