Every child should grow up in a loving and supportive home environment. Thousands of children are fortunate enough to have a healthy upbringing and good role models that provide for their needs and help them develop good morals, ethics, and behaviors. However, this isn’t the reality for thousands of other children.
Some children grow up not knowing one or both of their parents for various reasons. Sometimes they have a parent who is incarcerated or dealing with substance abuse issues. Other times, they have no family members or friends who can give them the care that they need. These are just some of the reasons why children end up in foster care.
Fortunately, there are people who can help. Every year, many families open their hearts and their homes to foster children. The goal is to provide a stable life for the child and help give them the tools they need to have a successful life.
There are many agencies that focus on foster families. You can read more at PerpetualFostering.co.uk and other sites. You can find out about what’s required to become a foster parent and some of the benefits. You can also read about success stories before you decide whether becoming a foster parent is right for you and your family.
Here are five important things to consider before fostering:
1. Can you provide the time and resources that are necessary?
Giving a child a second chance is great, but first, you need to determine if you’re up to the task. Children in foster homes are often dealing with mental or physical abuse and may sometimes have difficulty adjusting to new environments. You’ll need to take some time to realize whether or not you can handle the responsibilities. Can you give them the time and attention that they need to adjust and grow without neglecting the rest of your family or other responsibilities? Are you adequately prepared to provide them with the resources (food, shelter, clothing, educational supplies, etc.) that they will need?
2. How will other family members react?
Before welcoming another person into your family, you need to consider how this will affect your other family members. In most cases, the transition goes smoothly, but this is not always the case. Talk to your children, spouse or partner, parents and other important family members before making your decision. This way, you can identify any potential issues and come up with solutions ahead of time.
3. Can you be the positive role model that they need?
Most foster children have lacked a positive, stable role model for most of their young lives. They will look to you for support and guidance. Take a little time to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself if you would be a good role model for yourself. This can help you find things to work on as well as recognizing the things that you do well.
4. How good are you at dealing with resistance?
As a new foster parent, you will probably be seen as a stranger to the foster child. It can take a while for them to warm up to you and your family. You’re going to have to deal with rejection and even some tantrums or bad behavior for a while. You’ll need to evaluate how good you are at dealing with resistance before taking on the role of a foster parent. If you are patient and calm, you’ll probably do a good job. Keeping an open mind, being encouraging and giving the child the time and space can help you be a better parent for your children and the foster child.
5. Are you prepared to deal with interruptions?
Many fostering situations often require regular check-ins with social workers or other related personnel. These visits can disrupt your everyday life. It can also affect your personal relationships with your spouse or partner, your other children, and other family members. Such visits are part of the process, so you’ll have to learn how to adapt to them and do what you can to make them positive experiences. The social worker can also be a great resource if you have questions or are having difficulty if the foster child is acting out or exhibiting unusual behavior.
These are just some of the things to think about before deciding to become a foster parent. It’s a decision that should be made carefully because it affects the lives of yourself, your family and friends and the foster child. It won’t be easy and there will probably be some adjustments that need to be made, but fostering a child can be one of the best things that you’ll ever do. You’re making the difference in the life a child and laying down the groundwork for them to have a successful adulthood.