The number of children who are sent to foster care is alarming. It is a sad reality that needs to be handled with sensitivity and caution. After all, these are the future generations of the same community where we live. Fostering networks have been doing a commendable job for generations, helping children find a home amidst many uncertainties. Becoming a foster parent can be your calling too.
Reasons why you should foster:
One of the main reasons you should foster a child is the social responsibility that comes with it. As part of the community, it is in your power to have a good influence through your actions. If you have space and time to take in another young person into your family, then it must be something that should be considered seriously.
Fostering a child also comes with its own rewards. Depending on your geographic location and a few other factors related to the child, you get a certain amount of funding from the state to cover costs and take in extra income. There are also tax breaks available for income earned through fostering so this really helps in your long-term financial planning.
The emotional rewards of fostering a child are immeasurable but immense. You will be welcoming a stranger who will slowly gain the confidence and trust to accept you as an extended family.
Know the legal rights of the child:
When you want to become a foster parent it is important that you know the important legal details of the process and the rights of the child. To foster a child is an important responsibility and the state has certain parameters and provisions that ensure a humane and nurturing environment.
The right to be treated with respect, the right to live in a secure and safe place, the right to necessary nutrition and clothing, and the right to the adequate healthcare are just some of the many legal rights of a child in foster care. Right to education and contact with social care networks and relatives are also part of this suite of rights framed to protect the children.
The impact of a foster parent:
If you are ready to learn about fostering, take some time to think about the positive impact you can have on the child. Children who are taken into care have missed out on some of the things we take for granted. Some of these children have been living in abusive households with parents who are suffering from addiction or who are never present. Many have faced physical and emotional abuse. They have not experienced the stability that is required to make a child feel safe and comfortable. By providing that stability, you will be giving the child a precious gateway to a normal life.
Children who go into care have many emotional issues, especially related to their confidence. This will be a big problem as they grow older because they will not be equipped with the tools to deal with life’s challenges. As a foster parent, you can intervene and give them the right environment to shed their inhibitions, trust people, and gain confidence in themselves.
These children need a pillar in their lives to give them an anchor as they discover new things and experiences. The foster parent’s role is to provide this support and also be a guiding light to help the children find their path.
In many cases, the foster parents can also be the bridge of reconciliation with the families of the children. There are times when parents are unable to take care of their children because of illness. In this case, the foster parent can provide a reassuring presence while helping the child stay in touch with his or her blood relations.
An uphill battle you can win:
Thousands of children grow into adulthood without ever leaving the foster system. They do not have the same relationships and skills because of the constant moving and shuffling. Many never get to complete a college education and thousands fail to find meaningful employment even when they have reached their mid-twenties. These are the challenges that you must foresee when you are a foster parent. And by knowing these things up front, you can, to the best of your abilities, try to combat the scenarios.
By ensuring that the foster children get the basic education and a warm and loving space to live in, you will be giving them a glimmer of hope to grow into responsible and independent adults. Consider becoming a foster parent – make that impact.