Want to Help Struggling Kids? 4 Reasons to Consider Becoming a Foster Parent
August 16, 2018
Fostering is one of the best things that any family can do. It provides a child with a safe and secure place to live and gets them out of children's homes and orphanages that they might have lived in for years. Many kids who are in the foster system have been neglected and abused, and as a result they may deal with mental and physical ailments. Because of this, it's a good idea for secure and understanding families to become foster parents.
What is a Foster Parent?
Foster parents take children into their home who have been living in the childcare and orphan system for a long time. These children are cared for in the home of the family and provided with food, schooling and a place to sleep. Along with being provided the essentials for the child to grow and thrive, it is also important that the foster parents provide the child with a listening ear and treat them with respect and dignity. Fostering is an enriching experience for everyone involved.
1. Supporting the Children and Helping Them Fulfil Their Potential
Orphans and those who do not have families may not receive the support and care that they need while living in an orphanage. This prevents them from fulfilling their true potential and can be the catalyst for a life of drug addiction and crime because the child has nowhere to call their home. When you foster a child, you're able to support them emotionally and mentally to help them fulfill their true potential and gain the life that they have been lacking.
2. Offering Them a Secure Home
While orphanages are relatively safe and secure places, many kids who are looking for foster homes are not in these facilities. They might be living with dangerous and insecure people, which can pose a risk to their health and safety. When you foster a child, you're providing them with a safe home that they can feel comfortable living in. It's great for their sense of well-being and enables them to feel confident about the family they are staying with.
3. Fostering Helps Older Children and Siblings
Older kids and siblings have a tendency to stay in the foster system for far too long. Many parents only want to adopt babies, so these older children may be bounced from facility to facility and from one home to another. It's a good idea if you're looking to foster that you look at fostering older kids or siblings. For siblings, this enables the kids to stay together and be there for each other. For older children, it shows them that they are still loved and cared for and that people want to see them live the best life possible.
4. It's Beneficial for Adults, Too
You might assume that fostering is all about the children, but it can be beneficial for the adults as well. Adults will be able to help a child who needs them, and they will provide a safe and secure environment for the child. This is enriching for the children involved as well as the adults, who are now able to feel good about their decision to help those who are in need and who are struggling. Plus, you will be able to help kids who have mental and physical problems, and this can provide them with a sense of well-being at a time when they feel alone.
How to Become a Foster Parent
The best way for you to become a foster parent is to speak with the childcare and welfare department of your county. They often work with fostering agencies and orphanages where kids are looking for homes to be placed. Keep in mind that fostering a child is different from adopting them since their parents still have rights to their own children. However, many foster children live with their foster parents for many years and even for their entire childhood, so it's still a viable option. Plus, it is often easier to foster a child than it is to adopt one, and it is far cheaper. If you've always wanted to adopt a child but found that the tens of thousands of dollars it would take to go through the adoption wasn't in your budget, fostering is the next best option.
When you work with the county, they will conduct background checks and home visits to ensure that you are a viable candidate for fostering a child. Some counties have strict regulations on who can and cannot become a foster parent, and other counties are more lenient. For example, one county might require that the foster parents be a married couple who have been together a specific amount of years while another county might offer fostering to single professionals who are able to provide the child with a secure home.
No matter when and how you choose to foster a child, you're doing something that is going to be highly beneficial for the child who is involved. You will help them to realize their true potential while providing them with a routine, secure and safe home where they can feel comfortable. If you currently have kids, it's a great way to provide them with a sibling who can grow with them. If you don't have kids, fostering is a great way to build the family that you've always wanted to have.
If you feel that it is time to begin the process of fostering a child, it is crucial that you work with the county and find out more about what is involved. In most cases, the process is relatively quick, and you can have your foster child in just a matter of a few months and working with them to help provide them with a safe place to live. So long as you have a home and are a responsible adult, there should be no reason why you should not be able to foster a child who is in need of someone like you who truly cares.