The best advice I have from one foster child to another is that you never give up….Never think that you are worthless.
Jane, Age 10
In an ideal world, all children and young people would be loved, nurtured and brought up in safe, secure and stable environments.
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However, as we know all too well, this is not always the case.
For any family, welcoming a foster child into your home is a massive step, so it’s important that you take the time to decide whether fostering is right for you and the rest of your family.
There are many ways to get into foster caring and below are just a few of the places that will help:
We’ve also taken a closer look at the various benefits of becoming a foster carer.
1. Make a huge difference…
For most people, being able to make a positive difference to a vulnerable child or young person is the main reason behind them becoming a foster carer. There’s usually several, often complex reasons why children end up with safe and secure foster families, but with your support, encouragement and reassurance you can give them what they desperately need – love, care and attention.
2. ‘A feeling like no other’
While fostering may initially be one of the biggest leaps of faith you could ever possibly make in your life, you’ll soon realise how privileged you are to be in a position where you can make lasting bonds with foster children that not only improve their life, but better your life as well.
Seeing a once timid, shy and unconfident foster child begin to blossom into a positive, hopeful and self-assured young person gives you a feeling that cannot be compared to.
3. You can still work and foster
There is a great deal of flexibility when fostering, so if you’re looking to work and foster you can be provided with a number of foster placement types to suit your individual circumstances.
4. Become an asset to your community
It’s certainly important to remember that when you foster you also foster from your local community too, so not only does the positive contribution you make as a foster parent impact the child or young person you’re caring for, it also impacts the local community around them as well.
You could be fostering children who go to the same school as your children or play in the same sports team as them. Ultimately, as a foster carer you become a tremendous and well respected asset to your community.