What Can Fostering Achieve?
Do you think you can be a foster parent?
Becoming a foster parent is something very big, which changes your life dramatically. Additionally, it will impact the child’s life, your family’s life and even your friends and neighbor’s lives. So, it is very important for you to learn the true goals of fostering before actually starting this journey. This article provides some questions and answers to some important aspects of foster care.
Do you want to be a foster parent? Here’s what you need to know!
Why are you thinking about fostering – what are your motivations and expectations?
Many people enter into foster care thinking that they are rescuing a young person from an abusive or neglectful parent. It would be easy to imagine that the child will be grateful and relieved to be out of their home situation; however, this is not common.
However bad that situation may have been, children love their birth families unconditionally.
Young people may have suffered trauma through the experience of neglect, abuse, deprivation, physical injury… Or, may have experienced a family breakdown, illness or death.
They can be angry, resentful and sad; and may well take it out on their foster parents. Are you willing and able to deal with this, and not take it personally?
Are you willing to have social workers in your home, sometimes every month?
Could you work in a partnership with a team of professionals to help a child remain in placement with you, return home, or move to another permanent placement such as adoption?
It requires excellent communication skills on your part, and a commitment to follow the care plan set out by the child’s Local Authority social worker – even if you may disagree with some aspects of it. It also requires patience, tolerance, strength and tenacity to advocate for the child – sometimes with obstacles in your path, or red tape preventing things from happening quickly.
If you have children, how do they feel about you fostering?
It’s important to consider every member of your family when thinking about fostering a child. Everyone who lives at or visits your household will be interacting with the foster child. Your children will have to share their home, room, toys and parents; they sacrifice a lot in becoming part of a foster family.
Ask your children how they feel about it before applying. And be aware that your child may learn or pick up whatever the foster child knows, both the good and the bad. Are you prepared to stand guard at all times, making sure your home is safe for all who live there?
The original article can be accessed via the following link: