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Foster Care: What to Know Before Taking on the Responsibility

Child in the foster care system

Currently, the UK faces a major challenge in foster care. Every year thousands of children enter the care system and there’s not enough government funding or resources for carers and young people. This is why there is a constant need for those with child-caring capabilities to take up the responsibilities of giving foster care. What is clear is that more support is necessary for foster families. Perhaps less clear is what drives foster carers to welcome a child in need into their homes? There are many positives of taking up this noble responsibility, including the ones below.

Be a Guiding Figure

Taking in a child into your home is the beginning of a beautiful and unique relationship. A lot of kids who go into care have never experienced the security and basic comfort that every child must have to grow into a socially and emotionally healthy adult.

Moreover, you will introduce these children to simple joys that most of us take for granted. If you already have youngsters at home, bringing in a child of similar age can be the start of everlasting friendships that bloom under one roof.

As foster children come out of their shells and reclaim their childhood, the feeling of accomplishment and self-worth within you is something that only a carer can describe. Lisa Witter from Perpetual Fostering explains that helping to make a difference in the life of a child is the primary reason why people sign up to become foster parents.

Many foster care placements end in tears when the child returns to their natural family as it’s essentially saying goodbye to one of the family. That’s why many foster parents keep in touch with the kids long after they have left their homes. The children are family now.

Monetary Benefits of Foster Care

There are also financial incentives for taking in a child. The appropriate child care department will handle the costs needed for the child’s requirements. You also get some extra funds for the service you provide at home. This income supplements your budget and you are also eligible for tax breaks in the U.K. You can learn more about this part on the government website.

Understand Their Backgrounds

Children go into care for many reasons. Often their biological parents or guardians are unable to give them the care that minors require, whether it be nutritional, security-related, or health. Many children have faced sexual and physical abuse. Meanwhile, others have been neglected and had to fend for themselves.

Older children – in their teenage years – can have behavioral problems because of their home environment. Some kids go into foster care because their biological parents are too sick to take care of them. The children might also have special needs; fostering them requires a certain level of expertise and training. In these cases, the families need more government funding to cover expenses.

The prerequisites for fostering are not overly complex. The due process includes many checks and meetings with social workers. That includes financial and physical health checks. Foster carers will also have to attend training sessions. Lastly, when taking care of the child, they have many support resources, including a hotline with expert social workers.

17 thoughts on “Foster Care: What to Know Before Taking on the Responsibility”

  1. my wife and I just became licensed foster parents. We are awaiting our first placement. We have tubs of clothing in all sizes from infant to 15 years old. 2 twin beds, and toys for them to play with. we have gone through extensive training and feel eager to get our first set of kiddos. however, we still feel like we aren’t 100% ready. we feel like there is more we need. do you have any tips on how to get out of our own heads?

    1. How exciting, Kaitlyn, and I wish you all the best on this journey ahead! When it comes to getting out of our heads, it’s like sometimes we’re our own biggest obstacle. When you feel less than confident think back to times when you helped someone or someone told you how well you had done. You rocked it then and you will rock it now.

  2. I like that you mention how training sessions are required for foster carers. If someone is considering this, it might be a good idea to check local agencies to learn about their foster care training process. This could help them understand what it teaches and also give you the chance to check when they are and their availability to determine when the sessions can fit with your schedule.

  3. It is so sad that there is such a need for foster carers. I do admire any who take on the responsibility. Often, but not always, the children come from difficult situations and can behave in difficult ways. They need a lot of love to make up for what is lacking.

  4. I would love to become a foster career but I don’t think I would meet the guidelines specs, for 1 – I don’t have a spare bedroom! It’s a shame but sunbathing I will keep my mind open to in the future… Thank you for all the information… ❤

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