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

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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  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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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About the Author

Kara Page

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.

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