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Giving Foster Care – A Beautiful Experience

Aug 28, 2018 by

Foster care is an often overlooked good deed. Most of us have never paused to think of how hundreds of thousands of children are given a home and a safe haven across the country. You too can take part in this very important act and there are many good reasons to do so.

Benefits of Giving Foster Care

There are many benefits of this noble responsibility that you will take. First and foremost is the priceless relationship that you will nurture with your ward. You will be allowing a young person to become part of your home, giving him or her, the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful security and dynamics of a family.

Being a foster parent also gets you back-up income which will help you balance your own financial needs as well as create a comfortable space for the child you are taking in. You will also get trained in very important skills that help you deal with the responsibility – these skills are very enriching in nature as they help you manifest your compassion in the best possible ways.

Get Support All The Way

When you take someone in as a foster caregiver, remember that you will not be alone. Organizations like Perpetual Fostering will be by your side throughout the whole journey of caring for a child. You will be part of a mentoring program where experienced foster carers will give you very organic tips and advice. The little details are the most important and you can only get from someone who has experienced the situation first-hand.

You also will be assigned a social worker. Armed with experience and insights from both perspectives, the social worker will help you find the right individual to care for. Foster carers will also have 24/7 support – they can contact a senior social worker by phone at any time on any day. At times you may need a break from things – paid respite for up to two weeks takes care of that.

Every month, you get to be part of foster forums where you meet other carers and dwell upon issues related to your fostering responsibilities. These forums allow you to learn many important things just by discussing each others’ experiences and sharing of tips and advice.

Additionally, you can download free resources that will be very useful in helping you understand and manage the foster care responsibility efficiently.

How to Get Started?

If you are living in the North West and West Midlands, then you can have access to a large network of foster care volunteers and experienced local authorities who will be able to give great guidance. All you need to do is reach out by phone and find out if you fulfill the criteria to provide foster care.

Becoming a foster carer is a multi-step process. It all begins with a show of interest. After you have read enough and decided that you want to make this big step, you first need to speak to a social worker. There are some basic criteria that need to be taken care of – to ensure that the child is comfortable and that you will be able to perform your duties without a hassle. Your home needs to have a spare bedroom for the child and your good health is also very important. Those who have declared bankruptcy or have a serious criminal conviction in the past are not eligible to give foster care. A social worker will also visit your home to engage with you personally as you consider the next steps.

Foster Training – An Enriching Experience

The training that you have to undergo as a foster carer has been designed by the UK’s largest fostering-related charitable organization – The Fostering Network.

What do you learn during this training? It first gives you valuable insights and context to foster care and then you proceed with scenarios and skills required to take care of a foster child. You will learn about the immense responsibility that foster carers have and why children come into care in the first place.

Foster care can save a life from being influenced by negative elements – it can help a child gain a positive identity. In the training, you will also learn how teamwork can lead to success – along with social workers and mentors you can provide a child with the perfect home and environment to experience personal growth.

The training will address many day-to-day situations that you will face when you give a child foster care. How do you gain trust and build a relationship? How do you promote good behavior and set boundaries? Managing the transition of the child and his or her integration into your home is very important.

You will have to always keep in mind that the child may have gone through harrowing experiences and feels vulnerable, having not had the care of parents. The 3-day training will include a lot of discussions and to-and-fro communication as you polish your understanding about caregiving.

After the training, there will more compliance checks for you and other family members above 16. You will also have to provide references and get a medical check-up done. A social worker will visit and interact with you further to complete a report with regards to the possibilities of taking in a foster child.

The report is looked at by an independent panel who will then decide whether you can be approved. After approval, you can then work with agencies to find the newest member of your family.

Nurturing a New Generation

The stats of children going into care in the UK are alarming. As a responsible citizen and a human being, here is your chance to help someone find a home and strengthen the future of not just the child but the community in which you live.

Many foster parents share the same emotion about giving care to a child. It is a very rewarding experience and has helped carers experience tremendous personal growth. It has also helped many families bond and expand, as their foster children have grown into successful adults with families of their own. Apart from the financial and emotional rewards of giving a child a home and family, foster carers are also providing a great service to the society.

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