Fostering is a way of childcare which provides a shelter, a home, and care to the children who are in need and are unable to live with their parents or guardians due to some reason. Fostering provides a secure, healthy and happy environment for the kids who also get the promise of security and wellbeing. A point in life when a child is so vulnerable and is not able to help himself/herself; fostering companies guide the child and entrusts his/her responsibility into the hands of a family which is expected to provide a happy and safe environment to the child and makes the child feel at home.
You can make plenty of excuses to avoid and keep delaying the responsibility as a foster parent. But here are the reasons why you should go for it:
- Children who need foster care are already going through traumas in their life for having to stay away from their parents or guardians. Your decision to foster might prevent a child from getting into depression, or stop him/her to get into bad company.
- There are some foster families who treat the children very badly, which makes them more depressed and lonely. A good and happy family restores their faith in humanity.
- Do it for the children who are in need. Suppress your fears and let the good in you win. Your courage can give someone a home, a good education, and a healthy lifestyle. According to Tahir Khan, founder of PerpetualFostering.co.uk, 86% of foster parents say they bring in foster children to give them the opportunity to be a part of a family.
- If not for anything else, do it for yourself. Helping someone will make you feel good about yourself. It will also teach your own kids the art of helping other people.
Once you have decided to foster a child, you can start your research about the process of fostering. You should find good fostering companies and register your name and go through the basic process of completing your file. The actual confusion starts when you finally get a foster kid. You tend to get so involved in the process of getting a foster child; you do not realize that you need to be prepared once the child has arrived. Here is a list of your responsibilities as a foster parent, which will definitely help you get prepared:
1. To take care of emotional needs:
As it is a new environment for both the foster parent and the foster kid, it takes a while to settle in. Being the adult, it is your responsibility to make the child comfortable. Being a strange face, the child will take time to get comfortable with you and will not express his/her feelings. You should understand and respect the feeling of the child, and give them some space to observe and judge. They have had negative experiences in life, so the foster kids are usually deprived of love and happiness and they do not trust easily. Without putting too much pressure on yourself and the kids, you should try and create an atmosphere which is healthy and super comfortable. They sure say that time is the biggest healer, but I say that a positive environment plays a much bigger role.
2. To take care of physical needs:
Your role as a foster parent does not end with providing shelter and food for the children. There are various aspects that you need to take care of regarding the physical health of a child. The food and environment provided to the children should be very hygienic and healthy. You should be aware of any kind of problems or illness that the child is going through. Being a responsible foster parent, it is your duty to know about the allergic reactions of the child. You should also make sure that the child learns how to keep himself/herself neat, clean and hygienic. You should teach them how to keep the room clean, and how to organize everything properly. An open environment is also must for a child where he/she can play and do other recreational activities.
3. Take care of their education:
A good education has the ability to create a good citizen. No matter what the circumstances are, every child has the right to get a basic education. You should monitor the progress of the child at school and make sure he/she completes the homework every day. You should also offer to help the child in the school projects and competitions. It also creates a good environment at home and develops a closer relationship among the foster parent and foster child.