As a social worker, I’ve been asked many times in my career, “Why do people take in other people’s children?”
This question may seem harsh; however, with so many misconceptions about foster children, I can understand people’s hesitation. We rarely hear examples of children who have overcome great odds to become successful. This is the intention of this blog; to shine a light on fostering and all of the varied experiences that come with it.
So naturally we need to begin with the question, should YOU foster children? Foster parents who have said YES have taken the time to carefully consider this decision, because, like most people they have reservations.
These are the concerns I hear most often:
Despite all of these factors many people step forward to foster because they recognize that these children haven’t always had positive life experiences. Foster parents provide a safe, loving, nurturing home for children in need. They accept that it takes a community to raise a child. They respect that sometimes birth families face challenging situations and need support in raising their children as they make necessary life changes. They are people who see an opportunity instead of a problem.
I recently heard one foster parent put it this way, “Fostering is temporary, but love and care are never temporary". Many foster parents start the journey hoping to ‘give back to society’ and they end up receiving more than they could have imagined from their foster children.
Some of the reasons I hear that give foster parents the most satisfaction are:
Fostering is a life changing journey for both you and the children you care for. You don’t need to be perfect to make a positive impact; you just need to open your home, your family and your heart.
So, To Foster or Not to Foster, That is The Question. I welcome your comments and feedback and would ask that this space remains respectful of everyone at all times because together we can change lives.
If you’re interested in exploring the fostering journey please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The advice offered here is the opinion of the author and is not meant to replace advice you receive from your professional network.