“We have always loved having children in the house so fostering felt like a natural step for us. It hasn’t always been easy and it completely changes your life, but when you see the small improvements you make over time to these youngsters and the bigger changes you can see when they move on, it really does feel worthwhile.” Paula and Martin, Nexus foster carers.
Fostering for the first time can be an extremely daunting experience but taking a life changing step to give a child the support and love that they desperately crave can be truly rewarding.
Helping change a vulnerable, low self-esteem child into a kind, independent adult is a reward in itself. You’ll also receive support throughout your time as a foster carer such as;
- Financial allowance (You will receive different levels of allowance, depending on the age of your child);
- Social Worker (You can meet regularly with your social worker, speak about your worries & concerns and share progress of the child);
- Full extensive training throughout the assessment process, then ongoing support, advice during your time with the young person;
- Birth children support groups and activities;
- Family outings, social events and 14 days paid holiday (respite) a year.
Why people decide to become a foster parent?
There are lots of reasons why people start fostering, but the predominant reason is that they want to change a child’s life, for the better. Some parents who have done a good job bringing up their own children feel that they can be good role models for children in care as they’ve been there and done it before.
The experience of having birth children before fostering can be useful in bringing up foster children. You learn from mistakes and know how to deal with possible problems/challenges which may arise with the foster child. Many foster families look to foster due to their birth children ‘flying the nest’ and they miss the hustle and bustle of family life that young children bring to a family home. You can also foster if you haven’t had your own children and we have many people who do so successful, offering guidance and support.
How can fostering a child BENEFIT the birth child at home?
Having responsibility thrust upon them is usually a great feeling for the birth child, it allows them to feel grown up when sharing and caring for the foster child.
Bringing a foster child home can improve the birth child’s personal development, it allows them to see the life of someone less fortunate, developing skills of understanding, listening and helping.
Lastly, giving the birth child a chance to help and look after the foster child makes the birth child feel responsible and good about themselves.
There are lots of positives for the birth child to take from having a foster child in the home, at first the birth child may feel unsure, but giving them responsibility can eliminate those worries and become a real positive experience for the whole family.
Can I foster a child?
We are always open to foster carers from different backgrounds – married, single, divorced, same sex couples. It doesn’t matter what your story is as long as you are willing to dedicate your time to looking after and shaping a future of a child in your own home. You will also need a spare bedroom.
If you think you have what it takes and want to make a difference to a youngster’s life, call us on 0800 389 0143 to discuss your options.