While you may have preconceptions about fostering, you may not be aware of just how rewarding fostering a child can be. Here are five reasons you should consider fostering.
- There’s a shortage of foster parents
A new child comes into care every 22 minutes. But as an ageing group of foster parents retire, fewer people are choosing to take a foster child in. Economic problems in Britain are making things worse: money worries prevent foster parents from volunteering while putting a strain on family life and leaving more children in need of a home.
This is becoming a growing crisis in the UK, with siblings torn apart from each other and countless children doomed to a life in institutions, waiting in limbo for somebody to take care of them.
Willing and able foster parents are needed more than ever.
- Foster children are most in need
Children get put into care for a number of reasons: their parents might have drug or alcohol problems or the child may come from an abusive home. Sometimes they just need somewhere to stay while their parents get their lives together. Others might have more chronic problems or psychological disorders.
For Emily (author of the Foster Parenting Adventures blog, it was her work as a clinical psychologist, where she would work with some of the most troubled children, that prompted her to foster.
- You’ll get financial help
You won’t have to shoulder the burden of all the costs associated with fostering: you’ll get an allowance from your local council. If you’re on benefits, your payments won’t be taken away because of any help you get to become a foster parent.
- There’s a lot of support
Emotionally and practically, there are a host of tools and support available to help foster families navigate the waters, from hands-on training and therapy sessions to support from fellow foster parents on online parenting forums or at local meetings.
Even if you’ve never been a parent before, are worried about taking on a troublesome child or you fear that you’ll struggle to bond with your foster child, you won’t have to go it alone.
- It’s rewarding
Nobody said that being foster parents was easy, but foster families are in the position to really turn a person’s life around, and watch them thrive as they get the stability they’ve craved.