Any foster care parental journey is filled with many emotions, but the pain and frustration is equalled with happiness and opportunity. This is not something for everyone, and certainly not for those who are expecting an easy experience, but if you become a foster carer, you will go on a journey that will change your life as well as the lives of those in need.
To Be a Great Parent
Undoubtedly, any child who is in the foster care system will have had a tough life. Due to this, these children require a parent to be loving and considerate of their needs and provide them with the love and care they haven’t yet experienced. Children would have faced anything from physical and psychological abuse to drug abuse, crime in the home and violence. If you become a foster carer, it will be your opportunity to show these children some light by providing care, love, positivity and overall healthy living!
To Meet Diverse People
When you become a foster carer, you will meet people of all different races, beliefs, values, religions and cultures and this enables you to truly develop an appreciation for every type of person. By encountering such a wide demographic of people your understanding of different walks of life will flourish. Not only this, but as a foster carer your opportunity to build a community with other foster carers and create a support network will amaze you, as there is always someone there for advice and support.
To Help Children
Although this may seem obvious, you can really help a child. Most children entering the foster care system will not have ever formed a lasting attachment, and this is concerning as forming early attachments is crucial to healthy psychological and social development. Due to this, it is possible that these children could also have children who enter the system. So, the sooner these children are able to form attachments, the more likely it is that the cycle of abuse, neglect and abandonment can be stopped as they can appreciate what it takes for families to be stable, happy and safe. By becoming a foster carer, you have the potential to truly change a child’s life and their future.
Learn about your community, and yourself!
People who have experienced foster caring usually walk away with a much greater understanding of some of the covert happenings in their community. As a foster carer you will develop the ability to understand people’s troubles and appreciate people’s differences due to the lessons learnt in foster caring. Not only this, but you will also be able to learn to be a calm and tolerant individual which will be transferable in all walks of life.
There are so many opportunities...
If you become a foster parent, you are not restricted. For those who would like to engage in foster caring there are many different options. You can choose to care short-term for a few weeks or months, long-term which can last until the child reaches adulthood or “short break” caring. Short break carers look after children who are in a long-term fostering family so that their carers can have a break and is used most commonly with children with disabilities, behavioural difficulties or special needs. Alongside this there are many more options including emergency placements, remand and parent and child. There are options to foster through the local authority or through an independent fostering agency, so you can choose a path to suit you in the fostering journey.Everyone benefits in different ways from becoming a foster carer, but something all have in common is that you are able to change the life of children in need. Aside from all the reasons above, this quote perhaps sums up the main reason you should become a foster carer.
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Don’t ever waste it.” - Anonymous.