If you’re even considering being a foster parent, then that makes you someone very special. They are ordinary people who do an extraordinary job in providing love, care and support to the children who are unable to live with their own families. They may be married or single, have a large family or no children of their own, be renting or own their home. While fostering can be immensely rewarding, it’s also a lot of hard work. You have to be truly committed to providing a stable, loving environment for these children who desperately need it, and your whole family needs to be a part of the decision. Being a foster parent gives you the opportunity to transform a child’s life, and if you have children of your own – fostering a child will transform their life as well.
Fostering does not necessarily mean having a child in your home for a long length of time. It may be that you choose to offer respite care for other care givers or you may offer short term or emergency care for children awaiting placement.
Here are a few places you can find out more:
Open Home Foundation
To find out more info about offering a Home for Life, call 0508 CARERS (0508 227 377)
The qualities of a great caregiver include people who:
- Can commit wholeheartedly to caring for a child who really needs your help
- Are able to dedicate the time and energy to communicate with children, and build a good relationship that nurtures their self-esteem and confidence
- Have a stable home life have time to take a child to and from school or kindergarten
- Understand that children coming from a tough background may at times have some challenging behaviours
- Have an understanding of diverse backgrounds and cultures
- Can be resilient and patient
If a social worker is unable to find a suitable foster parent in the same area where the child is living, this is likely to cause even more turmoil and stress on the child. They may need to move away from their school, friends and sports teams and start all over again. By offering your home and your heart to a child, you will have the opportunity to really change their lives in more ways than you can possibly imagine. You will have the satisfaction of making a huge difference to the life of a child or young person.