*This is a collaborative guest post
Making the decision to become a foster parent is a huge undertaking. It is challenging and rewarding in equal parts. You know that you want to provide a supportive environment to make a positive difference in a child’s life, but have you considered the positive impact fostering has on the whole family? If not, then here are just some of the wonderful ways that your family might benefit from fostering.
It is normal to have concerns around how adding a vulnerable child to your home will affect your own birth children that live with you. You will want to make them feel included and reassured throughout the process so they do not feel left out. However, having a foster child come to live with you can teach your children the importance of empathy and kindness, and helps them to appreciate their own family home life. Not to mention, the addition of a new child to the home could provide them with company and someone new to play with. There really is no doubt that fostering can be both a wonderful and life-changing experience for birth children.
If you have grandchildren and decide to become a foster parent, you might wonder what that will mean for your grandchildren, who could be of a similar age to the child you foster. Similar to birth children, welcoming a foster child into your home can positively impact your grandchildren’s lives too. It shows them that care is infinite and that you can care for other children without this being detrimental to your love for them. It also teaches them that families come in all different forms and can be expanded in various ways, which is a positive thing as it encourages open-mindedness.
Choosing to become a foster parent can positively affect you as a carer as well. You will reap the rewards and satisfaction of supporting a vulnerable child to grow and learn, and you will also learn more about parenting and compassion through foster care training. It will also help you learn how to develop long-lasting relationships with the children you foster and encourage you to think creatively when it comes to organising your family schedule, which can improve unity in the home. We know that foster parents come into this career expectating to make a huge difference to another person’s life, but often surprised about how much they learn about themselves and their relationships in the process.
Grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews can all benefit from you bringing a foster child into your family unit. It can grow unity as a family as you work together to support the foster child and gives you a better understanding of people’s backgrounds and life experiences. It is important to consider how your whole family will feel about your decision to foster as they will be an important part of your support network after all. But the positive impact makes the entire process worthwhile and often people just wish that they had started the fostering process much sooner.
See the Impact for Yourself
If you want to see the benefits of fostering for yourself, then get started on your journey today. If you don’t know how to go about this, there is support out there that will guide you in the right direction. For example, Fosterplus is a foster care agency that provides services to children and young people across England and Scotland. If you choose to foster with Fosterplus, you and your family will be supported every step of the way and receive training that will encompass how fostering can affect your whole family.