Do you intend to foster a child? That’s great, but do you know what fostering involves? For instance, how does it benefit your family? And what challenges does it pose? Only by answering these questions can you decide whether fostering is for you or not. So, let’s look at its pros and cons.
Changing the Society
The Fostering Network estimates that more than 80,000 children receive care away from home in the UK. Of these, 8 in 10 live in foster homes and the remaining two, at home. That’s close to 20,000 children in need of foster parents. Taking one into your home changes their lives and society for the better.
Changing into a Better Person
Fostering does more than change the welfare of foster children and communities. It also changes you. Caring for young children or children from troubled homes demands patience, kindness, and understanding from you.
Promoting Family Bonding
Fostering is a joint effort. To make the foster children feel at home and loved, you all have to chip in. When they withdraw or rebel, you all have to exercise patience. So, with time, your family bonds and learns to work together.
Receiving Financial Compensation
For every child you foster, you receive financial compensation. Needless to say, the extra money makes it easier to raise a family. And even when you don’t need the compensation, it still improves your financial situation.
Receiving Social Support
According to an article on what’s it’s really like to be a foster carer from PERPETUAL FOSTERING, you also receive a robust support system once you foster. Social workers, mentors, and family support groups are assigned to you and your family. And from this support network, you do more than learn how to foster. You also gain lifelong friends.
Overcoming Bureaucratic Procedures
Thanks to bureaucratic hurdles, getting into the foster care system is scarcely easy. First, there’s the tons of paperwork to fill. And after that, there’s a mandatory training to undergo. Only after passing both do you get considered.
Having No Rights over the Child
After overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles to foster a child, you’d expect to have legal rights over the child. But that’s never the case. The rights of the birth parent and the state over the child come first and second. Yours are at a distant third.
Experiencing the Pain of Separation
Foster parenting is rarely permanent. At some point, you and your foster children separate. Remember, you have no legal rights over them. So, if the state decides to take them or if a court hands them back to their birth parent, there’s little you can do.
Incurring Financial Costs
Granted, you receive financial compensation as a foster parent. But make no mistake: It’s never enough to support you, your family, and the foster children under your care. As a result, you still spend your money, which can strain your finances.
Incurring Emotional Costs
Money isn’t the only cost you pay for fostering. There’s the emotional cost as well. Some foster children come from troubled backgrounds, so they’re either withdrawn or rebellious. They, therefore, demand patience and determination from both you and your family.
Fostering is a rewarding and life-changing experience for everyone involved – you, your family, the foster child, and even society. But it also has its challenges. So understand both before signing up to foster.