Most of us have heard about fostering through television programmes or from people we know who have fostered a child. However, while this may be true, many people are still unaware of what fostering is.
Fostering is a way of providing a looked-after child or young person with a nurturing and caring environment during a period when their own relatives cannot take care of them. It is usually only a temporary arrangement, with most children returning to their birth families once any problems have been overcome.
Unfortunately for children in foster care, there is currently a massive shortage of foster carers in the UK. Because of this, many children in foster care end up being placed in care homes instead of with foster families. This can have a significant impact on the life of a child.
The good news is that over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people looking into becoming foster parents. If you’re one of these people and you want to know why you should consider becoming a foster parent, keep reading below:
1. You Are Needed
Whether you’re considering fostering in Northern Ireland or another part of the UK, becoming a foster parent is a brilliant idea. One of the main reasons for this is because, as mentioned above, there is a massive shortage of foster families in the UK.
2. You Can Be Around Children
Many people start fostering children when their own children have left home. But why do they do this? Research suggests that many people start fostering later in life because they don’t feel like they are done parenting. They miss the joy, excitement and energy of having children in their homes.
3. Build Long-Lasting Bonds
Another great reason to consider fostering is that it allows you to create an unbreakable bond with a child in need. It doesn’t matter how long a foster child lives with you; they will stay in your heart forever. And they may even choose to stay in touch with you when they return to their birth parents or even when they’ve grown up and moved on from foster care.
4. You Can Transform a Child’s Life
Foster parents provide their foster children with a more stable, nurturing and loving home where they can thrive. This can make a real difference in a child’s life. In fact, evidence suggests that foster children who are cared for by foster families are much more likely to have a positive outcome than those in a children’s home.
5. Improve Skills and Knowledge
As long as you remain a foster carer, you will receive training and development to improve your knowledge and skills about looking after children. This is also known as continued professional development.
6. Financial Benefits
Although most people don’t choose to become foster parents because of the financial rewards, they are definitely a benefit worth mentioning. Foster parents not only receive a reasonable fostering allowance which allows them to take care of the child in their care, but they also receive several additional benefits such as summer activity allowance and entry to special events.
Many people like the idea of becoming a foster parent. However, they worry that they do not have the experience or skills required to care for a foster child. The good news is that you don’t need specific qualifications to be a foster parent. And while fostering isn’t easy, there are many benefits to caring for a foster child. In fact, there’s nothing quite like fostering.