If you pride yourself on your parenting skills and are looking for a rewarding career that can help others, you may find that fostering is the ideal path for you to take. Fostering is essentially when you take part in a system where a minor who does not have a permanent home will be placed into your care. To enter the system, you will need to become a certified and registered caregiver. Here’s more information on the subject to help you determine whether it’s for you.
Why Children Need Foster Care
There are a number of reasons that different children find themselves in foster care. These reasons could range from a primary family member being ill and unable to look after them, that their family has fallen apart or that they are in a home or a situation where their safety, wellbeing and general welfare is under threat. Sadly, there are a signifcant number of children and young people who may have experienced neglect or physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Every child’s story is different, but each will require a loving home to care for them until a more permanent situation can be established.
How Long Do Children Require Care For?
Fostering is different from adoption, in that you do not commit to care for the child or young person forever. Instead, they may move between foster homes or, if they reach a certain age, move into supported Youth Villages. On average, a child will usually stay with a foster family for roughly thirteen months.
To end up in need of a foster home, children and young people generally need to have been through some sort of life experience that can result in trauma or other issues. You may find that your foster children exhibit challenging behaviour as a result, such as tantrums, aggression, disponency or generally rejecting your care. Some may react in another way, becoming clingy, acting younger than they may be or finding difficulty in communicating and expressing their feelings. However, if you do choose to follow foster care, it is important that you know that this sort of behaviour isn’t a reflection on you or your care. Instead, you will simply need to be there for the children, providing them with what they need and ensuring that they feel safe, secure, supported and cared for at all times.
There are many forms of support that come hand in hand with fostering children. Of course, there is financial support, covering what they need and covering the cost of your care too. Then, there is emotional and practical support. Whichever agency you choose to foster with will be there to help you and guide you through the process every step of the way.
Of course, there’s so much more to learn about foster care that we haven’t mentioned here. But hopefully, we’ve managed to get through some of the basics and you should have a decent idea of whether this is something you’d be interested in or not!