How will fostering affect my family?
Every family is different, and though you may desperately want to become a foster parent, it’s important to ask yourself “how will fostering affect my family?”. After all, fostering won’t just change the life of the child you look after, but it will also undoubtedly impact your own children.
Fostering can have a positive impact on family dynamics, many children who have grown up with their parents fostering throughout their childhood often reference to how fostering has changed them for the better. Your children will learn life lessons throughout the fostering period, none more important than the value of family. If you have young children, or an only child, a foster child is more like a new friend! Not only are you taking in a child into a loving and caring environment, but you are also helping to create important bonds between the children. It’s important to make sure that your children know they are special to you, and that an addition to the family is a positive and exciting time, rather than an anxious time. You should always make sure your child feels like they can talk to you about how they’re feeling, so if they do feel left out or upset you are able to reassure them.
The hardest stage of fostering for most families is preparing the children for the process of saying “goodbye”. Children, as well as foster parents, form strong bonds very quickly with a foster child. That’s why it’s most important that right from the start you are honest and open with your children, making them aware that the new addition will only be temporary. It’s never easy saying goodbye but preparing your children for the inevitable is the best thing you can do.
Is it right for you?
So, “how will fostering affect my family?”. Well, if you want to provide a loving, stable environment for a child in need, then fostering could be the best decision you’ve made. Every family adapts to a foster child differently and in their own special way. Having the talk with your children, gathering their opinions and listening to their concerns and questions is a great starting point to figuring out whether fostering will be right for you. As a foster parent, you’ll need to make sure you’re balancing your child’s needs with your foster child’s needs, creating a happy family unit. There’s plenty of support and advice for anyone considering becoming a foster parent. You may be concerned about the way in which fostering will affect your family, if this is the case, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you have.