Fostering is something that appeals to many of us. Most people, especially parents, are upset by stories of children needing help and support and would love to do something about it. While fostering is certainly fulfilling and a fantastic thing to do for both children in care, and your own family, it’s not for everyone. Here are some things you’ll need to have if you want to be an amazing foster carer.Learn about the skills and characteristics necessary for being a foster carer and see if it's the right fit for you.Click To Tweet
Foster children need your time
Often, parents think about fostering when their own children have gotten a little older and no longer need them as much. But, before rushing in, ask yourself if you have the time to commit to a child who might need extra attention and support and if you are willing to sacrifice other things.
Once you have foster children in your care, their needs come first. You won’t have time to commit to a full-time career as your foster kids become your job. You won’t have time to devote to lots of hobbies either unless you are willing to share them with your foster kids. So kicking a football around at the weekend or hiking with your foster kids is fine, but training for an Ironman isn’t.
As a foster carer your home will have to have the space to fit another person
You don’t need a huge home to be able to welcome a foster child. But you should be able to offer them their own bedroom. You’ll also need space in the rest of your home to accommodate another life comfortably.
If your house is very cluttered, and you struggle to find storage for all your possessions, ask yourself if you’ve got space for another person and everything that comes with them. And if you don’t have a spare bedroom, it isn’t going to work.
Empathetic people make good foster parents
It’s easy to be sympathetic towards children from troubled backgrounds, but it’s not always as easy to understand what they have been through or who they are because of it.
If you find it easy to empathize with others, you might make a great foster carer. If you struggle to empathize, foster parenting might not be the right path for you.
You must have emotional strength during hard times
Fostering can be challenging. When times are hard, you must be able to stay strong for the child that you are caring for. Foster parents need a lot of emotional resilience to fall back on when their foster kids are having a challenging day.
It also helps if you have access to emotional support from friends and family. Ideally, your loved ones should be fully on board with your decision to become a foster parent. After all, you’ll need their help and assistance as you navigate this journey.
Stability is a must if you want to start fostering
There are a lot of myths about who can and can’t foster. You might wonder if you need to be rich, own your own house, or be married. All situations are different, but the big thing that you need to be able to offer a foster child is stability.
You don’t need to be rich, but you do need to be financially stable. You don’t need to own your home, but you do need to be living somewhere that you can stay long-term. And while you don’t need to be married or even in a relationship, you will need to prove that you’ve got a support network and that you won’t be doing it all alone.
Don’t think about fostering a child if your relationship is on the verge of ending but do think about fostering if you’re in a good place and would love to offer a home to a child in need.
If you want to learn more about how to become a foster carer, check out this article at fcascotland.co.uk for more information and advice.
Organizational skills are good for foster parents to have
Finally, being organized makes parenting easier. Foster parents are busy. Being able to organize their time and home can make life much easier and provide stability for their foster child.
Fostering is a wonderful thing to do. And if you have what it takes to be a foster carer, you could make a fantastic difference in the lives of many children.