Becoming a foster parent is not an easy decision. While everyone knows how much it can help to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, there’s a lot to consider, from whether you have the time to dedicate to a vulnerable child to how it might impact your family and lifestyle. It is not a decision to take lightly!
Fortunately, many fostering agencies, like us, make the process as smooth as possible. You receive an allowance to help look after the child, along with plenty of support to ensure the child has the best possible chance. So, if you’re considering fostering, there are many reasons you should. If you need any more convincing, take a look at these ten reasons why you should foster a child.
1. Improve a Child’s Life
The most obvious reason is also the best – fostering dramatically improves children’s lives by giving disadvantaged children the chance to grow and thrive in a stable environment. Due to unfortunate circumstances, this is something they wouldn’t otherwise have without foster parents.
If you decide to foster, you know that you’re making a positive change in a child’s life, and that is something to be truly proud of.
2. Grow Your Family
Having a large family is a dream for many. But for some, having birth children isn’t always possible. By fostering, you can grow your family without having your own children.
Instead, you can foster a child, giving them the resources, environment, and family that they need to enjoy the best life possible. In return, you will create an unbreakable connection with the child. And while the foster placement may be temporary, the love shared doesn’t always have to be. We have lots of foster parents who remain in their children’s lives well after they foster care placement has ended - going to graduations, weddings, births and lots of other momentous occasions.
3. Pass on Life Lessons
You might have a lot of life lessons to pass on, but maybe your children have already heard them, or you never had children to pass them on to. By fostering a child, you can make the most of the wisdom you’ve accumulated over the years by passing it on to them.
4. Learn Life Lessons
One of the other benefits of fostering is that you get to learn life lessons. You might expect to pass on your knowledge, but you may be surprised to know how much you learn from the experience as an adult. Children are inquisitive and insightful people – they can show adults ways of looking at the world that they hadn’t previously considered. Plus, by fostering different children, you’ll learn about different types of people and their cultures. All in all, fostering broadens your mind.
5. Witness Real Change
It’s nice to witness the impact your actions have in real-time. As a foster parent, you can enjoy exactly that. It might not be apparent at first, but over time, you‘ll begin to notice the children in your care blossoming thanks to the nurture and love you’ve given them.
6. You’ll Receive a Generous Allowance
We reward our foster parents with a generous fostering allowance to help cover the costs of a child as well as provide them with a professional fee for their hard work and dedication. This allowance is generally tax-free and doesn’t count as income, so won’t affect the state benefits you’re entitled to either. This allowance is massively helpful, especially for single foster parents who do it full-time.
7. Fostering Options to Suit You
When it comes to fostering, there isn’t one option for everyone – there are plenty of different types of fostering to suit you and your family. You might choose to specialise in emergency fostering, where you take in children that have just been removed from a dangerous situation at home and need a foster home for a night or two. Or, you might prefer to choose long-term fostering where you care for a small number of children over many years, often until they turn eighteen.
8. Feel Good About Your Actions
Everyone knows that when you do good, you feel good. While fostering is mainly about the children, it’s OK to feel great about what you’re doing! Every time you wake up, pick up the child in your care from school or witness an improvement in their behaviour, you can feel proud of yourself. You might even influence others to take up fostering!
9. Improve Your Community
Fostering children doesn’t just improve their lives – it improves the entire community. Unfortunately, far too many disadvantaged children end up on a downward spiral in life, which sometimes leads to committing crimes and homelessness. By opening your heart and your home to these children, you help put them on the right path, whether that is toward going to university, achieving their dream career, or even just finishing school. By fostering, you help create a better and happier community as a whole.
10. Make a Long-Lasting Bond
As a foster parent, you have the opportunity to make a long-lasting bond with the child in your care – one that might even last forever. Even after they have left your care, you can stay in touch and help them achieve the best life possible. Those kinds of bonds are invaluable.
If you're interested in learning more about long or short-term fostering with us, we'd love to hear from you! Simply give us a call at 0800 3698513 or complete our online form. Rest assured that our team of friendly fostering advisors will be more than happy to reach out to you and answer any questions you may have. We're here to help!
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