Fostering: is it right for you?
Have you ever considered fostering? The number of children needing foster care is rising, according to the Fostering Network. Its research found 82% of local authorities saw a rise in the number of children coming into care and needing foster homes in 2009-10. Some 42% of foster carers are looking after children outside their area of expertise as foster care providers struggle to meet increasing demand for services.
Credo Care has built a reputation for its work fostering children with autism, medical needs, physical disabilities or learning difficulties. In this article, it outlines the reasons why people say they foster and the reasons why, if you haven't considered it already, fostering may be the right option for you.
The reasons people give for fostering are various. Here are a selection of statements from foster parents which Credo Care has collected:
“I want to give a home to a local child”
"We can provide a loving caring family”
"We’ve got the space and the time and we love children”
"It’s extremely rewarding knowing you’ve helped a child”
“We realised help was needed – and we could provide that”
"Although it’s hard work, it’s also great fun”
“We have a disabled living adapted home or rooms and it's a shame to have them empty”
“We have had experience of children with disabilities and want to better use these skills in a vocational setting”.
These statements show that fostering gives back as much as you yourself give. But what makes a good foster carer? Below we give 10 reasons why people foster. They include some which you may find surprising.
1. You enjoy working with children
Foster caring is a very hands-on profession. You will form unique relationships with the children by providing a loving, stable home.
2. It can be personally satisfying
Whether you are helping to remove a child from an abusive situation, providing respite care or offering a loving home for a few weeks; foster caring is a personally satisfying experience.
3. Making a difference
You know you are making a difference to a young person’s life by providing the support and skills they need to grow in confidence and self-esteem. A carer can be there for a child when they reach important milestones in their life.
4. Training is provided
If you are a little apprehensive about fostering, agencies will provide all the appropriate training, which is ongoing.
5. Good benefits
Foster carers receive good benefits. Fostering a disabled child provides excellent fostering allowances of up to £500.00 per week per child plus benefits. Foster Carers are mostly self-employed to take better advantage of tax benefits.
6. No day is the same
Forget sitting at your desk five days a week – imagine strolling in the park, visiting top attractions forming relationships with other carers and their children; and at the same time giving a child a great start in life, helping them to have the same opportunities as everyone else.
7. No decline in vacancies
Presently, there are more vacancies than there are foster carers, making many job opportunities.
8. It makes a difference and extends a child’s life
Children in residential care get the best support and medical help. Unfortunately, what they don’t always get it is the direct sustained contact (cuddles and love) that a foster family can bring. This can and does dramatically increase the life expectancy of most children.
9. No qualifications needed
Training and support is provided and maintained by the Fostering Agency. Children’s specific needs are identified and appropriate training provided.
10. Carer progression
Many foster carers are better able to place two or even more children because of the skills and training they have.
If you are interested in fostering or simply require some more information, then please contact Credo Care on 01797 322226 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our blog is at http://credocare.wordpress.com