A foster parent opens their home to a child in need. Every 20 minutes, a child is removed from a birth family and put into the care system, and there is a constant demand for carers to step up and look after them. It is a rewarding career path with good days and bad ones, but when you start it’s not likely that you will ever turn back. Here are four great reasons to become a foster carer.
One: It’s a Good Thing to Do
Children in the care system have not had the best home life experiences. Many will have been removed from serious and harrowing experiences, so these children are vulnerable and in need of protection. Therefore, the first, and most simple reason to foster is that it is just a good thing to do. Every time someone goes through the training and signs up to be a carer, more children are given a chance to have a place to call home, even if it is only for a short while. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a single person living on your own or a family unit with children already, as long as you have a spare bedroom and are able to properly accommodate an extra person.
Two: You Will Learn a Lot About Yourself
Having children is a learning curve that teaches you more about who you are than you ever knew before. Fostering a child does this too, and sometimes in overdrive. You will learn how to regulate your emotional responses, learn new coping mechanisms and see life through the eyes of someone new. All of this will shape you into the person that you were always meant to be, and you will carry the experience forward with you for the rest of your life.
Three: Biological Children Benefit Too
If you have kids at home, there are multiple advantages for them too. It is an opportunity to meet someone from a different walk of life to them, build a new friendship, appreciate their own circumstances and learn to share their home. Of course, there are natural challenges, and the placement has to be a good fit for every member of the family but, where there is an issue there is bound to be a way to overcome it.
Four: Every Kid Should Have a Safe Space
Most important of all perhaps is that every child on Earth should have somewhere they can feel safe. Your home could be that haven, and there is no greater feeling than being an anchor for security. When you choose fostering in the UK, you choose to open your door to someone who really needs it regardless of whether they are a baby or a teenager.
Becoming a foster carer is a lengthy process, but once you have completed the training and met all the requirements, the rewards roll in. Giving peace of mind to a child in need is not a feeling you can replicate in any other context. This is a chance to make a lifelong bond and a real change.