Fostering involves the whole family, and anyone who is considering fostering will be asking themselves whether it is the right path for them and their family. Caring for children that have suffered neglect, loss and trauma is not always an easy task and the impact on you and your family will be dependent on your personal circumstances. There will be changes to your home life, some small and some that may take time getting used to, but once the adaptations have been made, fostering becomes a part of your life and the rewards are enormous.
Some things to consider prior to fostering:
- Am I a patient and understanding person? – You will need lots of patience and empathy to successfully care for a child that is lonely, angry, scared and confused.
- Is everyone in the household in agreement? – Fostering involves and affects the whole family and so everyone needs to be on board and ready for the challenge.
- Are you willing to make changes at home? – Being a fostering family means that some changes will have to be made within the household to make sure everyone is kept safe. Are you able to adapt?
- Do you have a reliable support network? Do you have friends or family members who are willing to be your Support / Back-up Careers and help you out in the case of an emergency – or offer you a cup of tea and a friendly ear?
- Will you be open to people regularly visiting your home? – Social Workers and other professionals will need to visit your home to make sure you, your family and the foster child are OK. These visits are usually once a month.
- Can you say goodbye? Saying goodbye to a child is not easy and the children and young people you care for will all have to move on someday -though goodbye does not have to mean forever.