There are an ever-increasing number of children and young people who are looking for a loving and supportive home. According to the latest statistics released by Ofsted, as of March 31st 2019, 55,000 children were in care. That’s an increase of 3% compared to the previous year’s figures. As such, there’s a constant need for new families.
People consider fostering for many reasons, but often hold back due to worry over the unknown. We’ve heard their concerns, including everything from attachment issues to their parenting ability.
However, through training and spending time with other carers, a lot of the initial concern can be eased. And most importantly, individuals should also consider the reasons as to why they should start fostering.
Read on as we answer: why should you become a foster carer?
Why you should become a foster carer
People decide to become foster carers for countless reasons. Whether it’s a personal experience that has made them want to offer more support to vulnerable people or simply wanting to make a positive impact on the world, carers come with a range of different stories.
However, many of our carers do have things in common, all of which have helped them provide incredible and inspiration care to vulnerable children.
1. You’ve been there
A number of our foster carers lived with a foster family in their youth. Many of them benefited massively from the positive influence and support provided to them in their moment of need and want to offer similar assistance to other young people who were once in their shoes.
These personal experiences can be vital in supporting a foster child through difficult situations, such as trauma, grief and loss. By knowing what it feels like, you’ll be able to relate to their situation and provide guidance that can take them towards a brave and resilient future.
2. You have an empty nest
If you’re a parent who’s already gone through the trials and tribulations of bringing up your own children, going down the route of foster care could be ideal for you.
With your own children having flown the nest, you’ll be in the ideal position to provide a young person with the support, consistency and love they need to flourish. Having experienced everything parenthood has to offer, you’ll also be well equipped to provide vital support, even throughout the good and the bad times.
3. You want to start a family
Many individuals have always dreamed of building their own family unit. However, for some, it can be hard to get there. For those who have always wanted their own little ones, fostering could be a good route to consider.
By fostering, you can experience all of the rewards that come with parenthood while making a lifechanging impact on those who are more vulnerable. You’ll be able to provide a secure home to children and bring them up with love, kindness and much-needed support.
4. You can make a difference
Maybe you’re close with someone who was in foster care, or you simply understand what it can mean to be vulnerable with nowhere to go. Either way, if you want to make a difference to the community, fostering is for you.
The young people in foster care have often been through a lot and will be looking for a safe space where they can grow and develop. By offering that space, along with solid foundations and a nurturing environment, you can be the key to a brighter future for them.
5. You want to help children flourish
While there is a range of people who would make excellent foster carers based on their experiences and traits, the most vital sign that you should be a foster carer is that you are passionate about helping children reach their full potential.
If you have the drive to help children live a more comfortable and happier life, willing to move through any challenges and rough patches and work towards a stable future, you’d be ideal for filling the role of a supportive, kind and nurturing carer.
Foster children need you
Ultimately, there are children who need your help in finding a secure future. They’re looking for support and nurturing to help them reach their potential as they grow and develop.
Too many children grow up in a setting that doesn’t resemble a loving family environment. But, with your support, they are able to access foundations that can not only help them find stability but show them how to care for their future children. You will be setting an example that can pass through generation after generation.
In addition, fostering can be inexplicably rewarding. Your influence will help children overcome challenges and blossom. By seeing young people flourish in front of your very eyes, you’ll have a gratifying experience that can be enough to power you through any difficulties.
How to start fostering
The process to become a foster carer has a reputation for being hard and long-drawn out. It can be another reason prospective foster carers hold back.
However, it’s actually one of the greatest misconceptions. While there are in-depth checks and training, it’s not as daunting as you may think and is designed to be as simple as possible, while offering all of the necessary support for new carers.
Once you get in contact, a member of the Olive Branch Fostering team will be in touch to discuss your application and set up an initial home visit. You’ll then be assessed on your suitability and take part in a panel interview and review. Once passed, you’ll successfully have become a foster carer.
Become a foster carer today
Ready to become a foster carer? Simply contact us and our fostering advisors will be in touch to arrange an informal chat. We’re always happy to provide more information, talk through any queries or concerns and to start your application when you’re ready.