Foster parenting is an incredible thing to do and if you are considering it there are some things to know first.
- Make enquiries- There are many ways you can make enquiries regarding foster care and a good point to start is the internet. There are many helpful websites and resources for would be foster carers. Have a read through their websites and get an idea about foster caring and think about if it is for you before you begin telling family or friends.
- Consider your family- It is wonderful that you want to foster care and taking a child into your home is a considerate thing to do for those kids that are having problems at home. However, if you have children of your own, you must consider your own family life and ponder whether a new addition to the family would work. If you are currently stressed and anxious with your own brood it is fair to say foster caring is not going to help matters. Especially at the start foster care is hard and depending on the kiddie you foster they could have their own problems big or small. Would your own children be happy to share their parents and their home?
- Cover all the basics- Basic things matter like do you have the time to care for a foster kiddie? As it is a huge commitment for any family to have another nipper come into their home. Do you have the space available for another youngster? Do you have a spare room or would your child mind sharing their room with their new foster sibling? Can you afford another nipper? Is everyone supportive of your decision to foster care because you need support when fostering whether you realise it or not.
- Ask questions- Once you have started enquiries it is vital that you ask loads of questions and be open to having someone ask you a lot too. It may seem a simple process but foster caring is anything but, it takes time, paperwork and a lot in between. Don’t be shy about asking lots of questions as ultimately this is a huge decision for you and your family and you should be given plenty of time to figure it all out.
- Pick the kind of care you want to give- Once you have decided that you are going to foster parent and have the support around you, the next thing is deciding what type of care you will provide. There are a few options, long term care, short term care or respite/emergency care. Of course, you can consider doing them all but in some cases people decide on one or the other deciding what is best for them and their family.