Becoming a foster parent is a life-changing decision. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, you might be worried about what it’s going to be like—what will the kids who are placed with you be like? How will they behave? Will you be able to cope?
There’s no denying that being a foster parent can bring some challenges with it—much like being a parent through any other means! However, being a foster parent is also immensely rewarding, and you are actually likely to be supported more as a foster parent than you would be as an adoptive parent, a biological parent or a step parent. Here are some of the benefits of becoming a foster parent.
1. You get paid to do it
Nobody should become a foster parent because of the allowance it comes with—they should do it because they feel that it’s the right choice for them and their family. Having said that, it’s great that governments and fostering agencies recognize how much work and expense goes into raising children, and compensate foster parents accordingly. Generally, it takes a lot of unpaid work to take care of the running of a household and look after a family. However, with fostering you can earn money from a vocation that puts family life and life at home first which allows you to provide care and support someone who needs it.
2. You get lots of support
Foster care is, by its nature, ever-changing—a child or young person is placed in your care because their family of origin is unable to care for them, and then after a while the situation might change and the child might go back to their parents, or at the age of 18, they may start living their own independent life when they leave foster care. Because of the frequent changes and the fact that children who are placed in foster care have often suffered trauma that they need to work through, foster parents are given lots of support through social workers and counselors.
UK independent fostering agency thefca.co.uk, for instance, offers foster parents 24/7 access to highly qualified social workers and counselors to address any issues or questions which might arise. Compare that with the difficulty many parents have accessing support, and you will see why becoming a foster parent feels, for many, like a safer choice.
3. It can be great for your biological kids
Some people might think that fostering is only for those who are unable or unwilling to have biological children. This is far from the case, however, and many foster families include the foster parents’ biological kids. As a matter of fact, some young adults who grew up with their biological parents and foster siblings have reported that having foster siblings made their family closer and help them develop gratitude and other positive qualities. Finding a supportive fostering agency, therefore, can greatly add to your family life!
To read more on topics like this, check out the Family category