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Why do people foster?

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Caring and helping children and young people

Fostering is a powerful way to lift up the lives of children and young people who have faced tremendous obstacles, and show them that there is hope for the future.

Good parenting and communication skills

While being a loving parent it is also important to be consistent and follow through on rules and expectations. These skills benefit towards stabilising the future of the children looked after.

 

People want to have a positive impact on a child and our community

Fostering goes beyond helping an individual child as it helps to fight the problems of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health difficulties and poverty. Foster parents can also be role models to birth parents by setting better examples of parenting their children.

 

Nurturing environment helping towards healthy development

The basic needs for a foster child are to feel safe in a warm and nurturing environment that enables a child to advance in forming attachments and expressing affection.  By this they learn to communicate their needs in an appropriate way and display a healthy sense of self-esteem, form connections with others, and develop future goals.

 

Feeling the need to give back and wanting to share experiences

People who have had their own challenges in life such as dealing with a family member’s addiction, losing parents or experiencing abuse who have overcome these situations and wanting to use that knowledge to help others.  Other people may never have faced these difficulties and feel a sense of gratitude.

Own children are grown up

Many people foster because their own children have grown up and live independently. They feel that they can use their parenting skills in order to give a happy home to children who haven’t had it easy in their lives.

 

Enjoy challenges

Fostering can be challenging as every child is different and has their own unique needs and challenges. This may involve working along with many different people, from social workers, therapists, doctors, and school personnel.

Myths about Fostering

I am single, I can’t be a foster carer
You don’t have to be married to be a foster carer.  Single men and women are encouraged to become foster carers. If you have the patience, a caring heart, good health, and plenty of energy, you have what it takes to be a good foster parent. 

I am retired and too old to foster
There is no upper age limit.  If you are in good health, mentally and physically, and have a high energy level, your age will not prevent you from being a foster carer. With age comes maturity and wisdom which are very positive attributes when fostering. 

I am renting and don’t own a home, so I can’t be a foster parent

The key requirement when it comes to a potential foster parent’s housing is that the carer must have a spare bedroom for the parent and child placed with them. The bedroom must have enough space for a parents bed, cot/child’s bed, chest of drawers, and a wardrobe. The foster carers' home can be in rented, council or owned.

I don’t have my own children so don’t have the experience to foster a child
Foster carers do not have to have experience of having their own children as not everyone can have children or have chosen to have children. Of importance is your willingness to support a parent in safely caring for their child, offering guidance and advice whilst ensuring that the child’s needs are consistently met.  

 

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