Things to Be Aware of When Considering Fostering a Child

Carmen D. Lade

Fostering is one of the most important things that is offered to children of all ages throughout the world. There are more than seventy thousand children in foster care throughout the United Kingdom with more being added to the system on a daily basis.

All of these children deserve a loving, caring and nurturing home environment where they can feel part of a family and grow up to be confident adults. There are so many reasons why children are placed in care throughout the world each day. This may be due to a relationship breakdown at home, problems at home, and family illness or even due to neglect. In many instances these children have seen and lived lives that most of us could never imagine, definitely things that they shouldn’t experience at such a young age.

Many of the children who are in fostering throughout the world have behavioural problems. They can produce very challenging behaviours, which can result in foster carers not knowing where to turn, how to deal with the child, how to approach them or make them members of their family. This is a sad reality, which is why foster carers go through ongoing training and always have support on the other end of the phone when faced with children who are playing out, throwing tantrums or even causing damage to the home.

As you can imagine, some of these children have moved from one home to the other during their fostering. This can lead to a lot of disruption and distrust. Just as they start to settle into one home, their lives are ripped up from under them and they are placed in another or they are taken from their own home, their own space and move to a house of complete strangers, where even though welcomed with open arms, they don’t feel comfortable or safe for some time.

Fostering a child isn’t a decision that should be made quickly. It is something that should be discussed with the entire family and everyone should be on board before you start applying to a foster agency. It is imperative that everyone is willing and able to accept a new child into the home who may or may not be suffering from behavioural problems.

Further it is very common for children who are in the foster system to be withdrawn. Younger children may be very clingy and once they feel safe with someone who shows them love, they aren’t able to separate themselves from you. The agency should provide you with advice and support on how to deal with these children, how to build their confidence and help them become individuals who can manage their lives effectively moving forward.

Fostering is not always easy and it’s important that you are prepared. You will build bonds with the children in your care and they can be removed from your care in a heartbeat. You may find yourself taking on a new-born baby who requires specialist care only to be adopted a year later, this can cause distress and heart ache on your own family and is something you need to be prepared for.

In addition to this, when fostering you will need to decide what types of placements you are willing to take. In some cases you may have babies in your home, the next week teenagers, maybe even siblings. Some children require fostering for a day or two, some may need a month and others may need long term care. You need to identify with what you are comfortable with before making any final decisions when it comes to fostering a child in the United Kingdom.

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