Fostering is an amazing thing to do, and it can help so many children who would otherwise struggle to find a place in the world. The good that a foster parent can do is unparalleled, and society certainly needs more of them. However, don’t let this sway you into becoming a foster parent if you’re unsure or not ready to do so. It’s far better to do all your research and have any questions you might have answered so you can make an honest assessment of what you should do. Remember, being a foster parent is hard, and it isn’t the right thing for everyone, so you do need to know one way or the other. With that in mind, here are some FAQs to consider that should help you make your decision.
Do You Have A Strong Support System?
Foster agencies such as thefca.co.uk will be happy for people from all walks of life, ages, sexual orientations, and relationship statuses to be considered for foster parenting. However, there is one thing that all foster parents should have in common; they’ll need a strong support system.
As much good as you will be doing, and as much as you might enjoy having children around you and in your home, there will certainly be times when fostering, as with any kind of parenting, will be stressful. If you don’t have a strong support system to lean on, this could mean that you are unable to continue fostering, which would be a shame if you want to keep going. Even if you don’t have close family and friends, it’s worth investigating online support groups or local foster parent groups as these can be great ways to get help and advice and know you’re not alone.
Are You Patient?
Are you a patient person? If you want to be a foster parent, patience is one of the most important traits to have. Sometimes you’ll give it your all and get no response or no thanks for your hard work, although you’ll know that you are doing something good. Is that enough for you? Will you be able to keep doing this month after month, year after year?
Think very carefully about your own personality and whether or not you could be patient at all times, no matter what is happening. Foster children will potentially be very fragile, and they will push back even when they know you are helping them. Shouting and lashing out could cause them damage, so you must be patient.
Can You Say Goodbye?
You must remember and be aware that every time you take in a foster child, no matter how old they are or how many times you’ve done it in the past, that you will have to say goodbye. Unlike adoption, where you legally become the child’s parent, with fostering, you are simply taking care of them until they can go back to a parent or other family member or be adopted, depending on the specific circumstances of their case.
This means you’ll have to be able to say goodbye to every child you foster. It might be after just a few days or weeks, but it could be a longer placement taking many years. This will undoubtedly be hard, and it’s not something everyone is able to do, so be honest with yourself; how would it affect you?