Across the world, there are thousands of children that are in care who are all looking for homes. However, there is a shortage of suitable homes that can take these children in and make them part of a family again. Not everyone thinks that becoming a foster parent is for them, or they think that they won’t be selected. In fact, there are probably more potential foster families out there then you think. Here’s how to decide if you should become a foster family.
What Types of Foster Care Are There?
For those that want to foster children, there are several types of foster care you can do. Short-term care is when you are looking after a child for a few months until they can be found a permanent home. There is also respite care that involves taking children for a few days or a couple of weeks. Respite care is usually used to give long-term carers a break and is often for children with disabilities or special needs. The last type is long-term care and involves fostering a child until they reach adult age.
Are You Suited to Foster Care?
There are no sets of rules for those who can foster and those that cannot. However, it is important that you have certain characteristics for it to be a success. Fostering a child can be full of challenges and in many ways demands more from you than a birth child. You need to have an empathy and understanding for children to get the best from the experience. You also need to have a loving nature but be able to set boundaries and be aware of their needs. For some people, fostering is not what they are looking for; some people who are looking to give back might decide that they want to find out how to become a surrogate instead, which is a completely different experience, but just as rewarding.
Do Plenty of Research
Taking on a fostering role is a big responsibility, and you should be fully aware of the requirements before applying. That is why you need to do a lot of research into fostering and what it entails. Read stories from other foster parents to see what challenges they faced, try to join forums where you can ask questions or read about other fostering parents.
Understanding the Process
Once you have decided to apply to become a foster carer, you need to understand what the application process involves. It can be quite an in-depth process and also invasive to you and your family. It needs to be like this so that the authorities know you are the right person to foster a child. The authority workers will need to speak to you and your family about your lives and also look into your financial and work backgrounds. After all of this, you will be told if you are successful or not.
Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. For those who cannot have children of their own, it also means they can still offer the love they cave to a child.