Thinking about whether to become a foster parent is a big decision – one that will take a lot of thought and consideration. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about adoption for a while and this is the first step, or maybe you just want to give a child in need the home that they deserve. Fostering is a temporary arrangement, but one that involves on-going dedication. Here is a guide to help you along with your decision-making process.
Different people value different things as being important within a family setting, and that’s fine. You may prefer order and tradition in the home or you may be more freewheeling in your approach to family life. But whatever your values, it’s important above all that you have love to give the child, regardless of their background. You would also need to ensure that you have the time to dedicate the child so that they can put their trust in you – whether as a family or on a one-to-one basis.
Consider whether your job demands too much of you for fostering. Do you often work away? Do you work late on a regular basis? A foster child would need to be your top priority as they are going to require support from you from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave. If you work long hours, the child may feel as though they can’t find the right time to confide in you and this is something that’s hugely important in building a bond. Don’t forget, some foster children come from distressing backgrounds and feel rootless, so routine and certainty can mean a lot to them – even if it’s something as simple as having your evening meal together at the same time every day.
Is your home suitable for a child? Do you have a spare bedroom so that your foster child would have their own space? Think about the location of your house too: are you close to a nursery or school, and do you live in a safe and secure area? As with any child, it is vital that they feel safe and protected.
Do you have a supportive family willing to help you out and reinforce your decision to foster? If you have children of your own, sitting them down and explaining what would be happening is paramount. It is important that all members of the family are willing to make the child feel welcome and offer them support.
Are you ready for fostering?
Are you at a stage in your life where you feel as though this is the right time? If you have a safe, secure and comfortable home with room for a child, along with a supportive family network, are financially afloat and have a job that doesn’t take up all your time and energy, then you are on the right track.
Remember that there’s no rush and it is important that you make the right decision – one that’s right for you, your family and the foster child. If you would like more in-depth information about fostering, you can visit fosteringsolutions.com.
About the Author: Andrew McDougallAndrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a Marketing graduate. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Adoption and fostering in the UK: Is Fostering for me? | August 14, 2013