Fostering is when you provide a caring and loving home for a child; this can either be a long term placement or a short term placement, or at times when their birth parents are unable to provide adequate amounts of care for them. When possible, the children may return to their family, but if this isn’t possible, alternative plans will then be made for them, such as long term fostering placements or adoption.
Becoming a foster parent is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do, it can also be an amazing gift to yourself and the foster child that you care for. Before diving into this type of work, it is important that you understand there will ups and downs, and that it won’t be easy.
Some people look at it as a way to earn some extra money, others think of it as a calling to provide help and support children in need. If you do not think like the latter then maybe you should reconsider becoming a foster parent.
While you must be the right kind of person in order to become a foster carer, it is also important that you are signed up with a good agency. Even though you are not doing the work solely for the extra money, it is still vitally important that you receive the money that is required to care for the children; you will need this to buy clothes, food, pay for school trips etc. The agency that you work for should guarantee an allowance for board, room, clothing; they should also provide insurance for the child.
There are other considerations to make as a foster parent. Sometimes a child will be placed in your after suffering through a terrible experience and circumstances. It is essential that the agency provide adequate amounts of help. They should not leave you alone to support and care for a child that is dealing with physical and emotional problems. Some children may need counseling; the agency should either provide the counseling or pay for it.
Even if you are the correct type of person to become a foster parent and even if you work with the right agency, it is very important that you prepare yourself for the worst circumstances. Your empathy may make you the right person for the job, but this could also make it more complicated for you than other foster parents to let the children go when the time comes for them to move on to an adopted family or a new home.
You will need to be the best foster parent you can possibly be while still realizing that you are not their real family. You can provide a loving environment for them and take care of them, but in your own mind you will have to keep them at arm’s length knowing they can be taken from your home at any given time.
Having to live with the possibility of this may be a deal breaker for even the most committed and dedicated individual. Please do not feel like I am talking you out of this great opportunity. Just understand that now you know the worst, you can prepare yourself for the experience, and enjoy the time you have with each foster child. Deciding to become a foster parent can be one of the most important choices you will ever make.
Are you ready to become a foster carer?
· Do you have enough space in your room to accommodate another person?
· Do you have a background of crime? Such as child abuse, drug involvement, or violence?
- Do you have the physical and emotional capabilities to provide care for a child?
· Are you willing to undergo a safety inspection of your home and complete the home studying process?
· Do you have adequate financial income to meet your family’s needs at present?
This is a guest post by David at Pathway Care Fostering Agency