Fostering is a very misunderstood form of childcare, and not many people understand that it is as much a career choice as anything else. For parents looking for a way back into the workforce, it’s a challenging option that will allow you to build on your existing skills and learn some new skills.
One of the biggest misconceptions about fostering is that you can’t be a foster carer if you have your own children at home. Many people worry about the impact this will have on their family, but fostering children when your birth children are still at home can be beneficial for everyone involved. In this guest post, I’d like to ask the question: could you foster a child with your own children at home?
How Does It Work?
Fostering a child in need when your own children are still at home is a challenge, but it is very manageable with some careful planning and forethought. The most important thing to consider is the age of the children. Most private fostering agencies and local authorities will only place children younger than your oldest child in your care. After all, it would be unfair to assume that a parent of a toddler would be confident giving care to a teenager.
The biggest benefit for the children in care is that they get to experience a loving and stable family home during their period of transition. Some children are waiting to be reunited with their birth families, while others will need a home while their wait for adoptive parents. For this reason, it can be a very difficult time and they need a stable environment in order to be able to retain some level of normalcy.
Your children will also benefit from being able to help another child in need. Young children are incredibly perceptive and are far more adept at helping a child in need than parents give them credit for. By fostering a child, you will give your birth children the opportunity to make a real difference to someone else’s life, which is incredibly rewarding for a young person.
The biggest concern many parents have is that the child they are fostering might be a negative influence on their birth children. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the result of bad behaviour. Some young children might struggle to understand why their parent is caring for another child and might act out of feelings of jealousy.
It can also be distressing for the child – and the whole family – when the time comes for the fostered child to leave. This is one of the reasons that many people shy away and believe that they wouldn’t be able to foster a child. Although it is a sad occasion when a child leaves a fostering placement, this is ultimately a positive occasion, because it means that the child is either going back to their family or to a permanent home.
So, over to you – could you foster a child with your own children at home?
About the Author: Ryan Duffy is a freelance writer who is a recent university graduate in Media Studies. His passion for people and writing has encouraged him to pursue this career full-time. He enjoys writing about lifestyle subjects and this is where most of his work has taken him.
Find him on Twitter here: @Ryan_Duff199
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