Why You’re Never Too Old To Become A Foster Parent
So, you’ve managed to make it this far. Not only have you had to endure the odd supermarket tantrum and sidestep the sporadic onset of tears, but you’ve done all this whilst providing your children with an abundance of love, warmth and respect.
Now that your children have begun blossoming into adulthood, albeit still longing for many of their favourite home comforts every now and again, you may have started to wonder whether you’re now too old to begin caring for young children again.
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Well, the short answer is no. Aside from being able to provide foster children with a safe and stable environment, there are actually very few barriers that exist in becoming a foster parent. So, whilst a minimum age limit is present, there is certainly no upper age restriction.
By showing no signs of slowing down, we’re certainly never surprised when we come across foster carers that are well into their sixties, seventies and even eighties. Oh, and why should we be?
An ‘empty nest’ becomes the perfect foster home
As long as you’re fit, strong and healthy, as well as able to keep up with the physical demands of children, then you’ll definitely be considered. In fact, many couples and individuals only pledge their interest in becoming foster carers during later life. We often see this as a way of helping existing parents beat those ‘empty nest’ blues.
From taxi driver to seamstress and cleaner to cook, your life took on a variety of different roles for many years, as you looked after your own young children. Often consisting of tiring and hectic 16 hour days, your house was once littered with noise and brimming with activity.
Believe it or not, many people do actually miss this level of organised chaos after their own children decide to flee the nest and embark on their journey in life.
Having acquired a wealth of experience, compassion and understanding whilst caring for their own children, there’s little surprise why older individuals are said to be amongst the most ideal when it comes to becoming a foster parent.
What’s stopping you from changing a child’s life?
For older foster children that require less physical interaction, but more security, consistency and empathy, then an older foster care applicant will often be considered.
Alternatively, the other main option for anyone wanting to fulfill a more mature fostering role is that of a parent and child placement. We all know that parenting can be difficult at the best of times, and some parents need a little more help and affection than others.
Therefore, opportunities currently exist whereby a parent and child can live together with an older foster carer with the overall aim of helping them to improve and enhance their own parenting skills within a safe and natural environment.
With the correct training and expert support, alongside the life experience and understanding already present within a mature foster carer, we believe that there’s no reason whatsoever why an older foster parent cannot provide the same level of warmth, care and attention of someone half their age.
We know that embarking on a fostering journey as a mature parent will certainly become one of the most rewarding, valuable and gratifying experiences you’ll ever undertake.