Why Retired Police Officers Make Good Foster Carers
If you’re an ex police officer and you want to enjoy your retirement, spend time with family and stay occupied, fostering could be the perfect opportunity for you. There are so many reasons why retired police officers choose to become foster parents, and in this article, we discuss these motivations and take a closer look at how skill sets required from police officers compare with those of foster carers.
The timing is perfect
If you’ve worked in the emergency services sector, you’ll know how it feels to have very little time on your hands and be rushed off your feet around the clock. This can often make it more difficult to foster children, particularly if you already have kids of your own. However, now that you’ve retired, it’s likely that you’ll have a little more time on your hands, giving you the perfect opportunity to do something like this.
From speaking to ex-police officers, we understand how challenging it can be to go into retirement after working such an intense, demanding role. This is why retirement is often the perfect time for a retired police officer to foster a child or young person.
You like a challenge
Just like raising your own child or children, fostering is not an easy job. It requires resilience, patience and a great deal of responsibility, which are all traits that many ex police officers are not afraid of. Throughout your career, it’s likely that you will have ended up in some rather difficult situations, and that you’ll have managed to find ways of getting positive outcomes in these scenarios.
The ability to face challenges head on and to help keep the peace in challenging situations is all part and parcel of being a foster parent. The ability to persevere, even if the toughest of situations is also beneficial to the role of a foster carer.
Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding careers you could possibly have. As a retired police officer, you’ll already have a good understanding of what some of the most vulnerable members of society go through during their lives. This will make you well equipped to support a child who has or is currently struggling. Research has found that 63% of children go into care because of abuse or neglect, with a further 29% entering the care system due to family dysfunction, absent parents or acute stress in the family. Becoming a foster parent can help improve the lives of some of these most vulnerable children in society, providing them with care, support and somewhere they can call home.
What’s more, you will have seen first hand what can happen when children and young adults who’ve experienced turbulent upbringings are involved in crime. A recent inquiry found that half of children in youth custody have been in the care system at some point during their lives. For many ex police officers, preventing this narrative can often be one of their biggest motivators.
You already have the skills
Being understanding, having good communication skills and possessing the ability to build strong relationships are all desirable qualities for both police officers and foster carers. Therefore, as a retired police officer, it’s more than likely that you’ll already be well equipped with the knowledge and characteristics that make for an effective foster parent.
Other characteristics that are advantageous for potential foster carers are the ability to stay calm in heated situations, show empathy and see things from other peoples’ perspectives. These also happen to be skills that many police officers develop throughout their careers.
We hope this article has given you an idea of some of the ways in which retired police officers make ideal foster carers.