The Challenges And Rewards Of Fostering – Every year, more and more children are placed in temporary accommodation while they wait to return to their families. Foster carers are an essential part of this intricate support system which is essential to the wellbeing of children throughout the UK. Like any other career that involves working with children, fostering is a challenging but rewarding endeavour that can enrich the lives of all involved.
The Challenges And Rewards Of Fostering
Why foster a child?
Deciding to become a foster carer will be a life-changing move for you and your entire family. A lot of people don’t realise the opportunities available through fostering. Even if you have your own children, no one expects you to be able to become an expert foster carer overnight.
Every foster carer is given training and support to allow them to navigate the practical and emotional challenges that will arise. Foster carers are also paid a salary, which means being a foster carer can be a full-time position.
The different kinds of fostering
There are many different types of foster carers. Some foster carers will offer emergency care, while others might only take care of a child a few days per week to offer what is known as “short break” for the parents.
There are also short-term and long-term arrangements which often have a fixed end date. Some foster parents will become familiar with the child’s birth parents, while others will have little to no contact.
Children go into foster care for a variety of reasons, and many children in care exhibit challenging behaviour. This can be difficult to manage and is often the biggest challenge facing new and experienced foster carers. Providing you have the emotional strength and can provide a stable environment, there is no reason this should prevent anyone from becoming a foster carer. There is continuous training available to learn to better cope with challenging children.
Some children will still have contact with their birth parents, which means you will have to get to know them and help the child to maintain a relationship with their parents or siblings. This can be emotionally challenging, but you will also have the support of social workers, therapists, court officials and more.
How to become a foster carer
There are two different routes to fostering. The first is to go through your local authority, or you can look for a private fostering agency. There are advantages and disadvantages to each path.
Local authorities tend to place children in your home much quicker, while private fostering agencies are often able to offer a higher level of support. If you are serious about fostering, get in touch with your local authority and talk to a local private fostering agency to help you decide which route is best for you.