Who said fostering is easy? It requires a great deal of patience and empathy to nurture someone else’s child. Also, fostering has to be done in a safe, loving and stable environment to offer foster kids what they need. So, before you decide to become a foster parent, it’s important for you to know what impact it is going to have in your everyday life.
1) Each foster kid brings with him/her own unique circumstances. Many a time, these circumstances are abuse and neglect. Such children will have behavioral changes which can be quite annoying and disturbing not just for you, but for your own children as well. So, before you become a foster carer, make sure you are patient enough to handle mood swings and needs of foster children.
2) Fostering will also require taking foster children to appointments. These can be medical appointments, an everyday or weekend meeting with their birth parents and so on. So, it is required to set your schedule in a way that appointments can be handled anytime, even at the last minute.
3) Foster carers need to seek permission before taking a foster kid out for traveling. For most day travels, informing the social worker will be sufficient. However, out of state travel will require permission from the court. Also, a foster child cannot engage in risky activities likes swimming, skiing, diving, trampoline fun etc. So, first, ask yourself why you are perfect for it and be ready to make adjustments before opting for fostering.
4) If you have a foster child at your home, social works and team members will be making regular visits to your place. This step is crucial on their part to see how the child is adjusting with you and your family.
5) No doubt social worker visits and appointments will change your everyday schedule; it will also change with other needs and activities of kids. For example – you need to set the time for the kids to have dinner, homework, bed and so on. Also, during weekends, they will need extra attention. Keeping all the things in mind, you need to set your schedule.
6) As a foster parent, you need to prepare yourself beforehand, both mentally and physically. The addition of a child or more will consume more of your time and require more planning and preparation to do just about anything.
7) Foster families need to foster a kid without the use of strict or corporal punishments. If you are a strict parent and have spanked on your own children, you will need to alter your way of parenting. So, fostering change how you employ discipline at your place.
While fostering is challenging to an extent, adding a child to the home is rewarding in many ways. However, it is important for you to understand the impact of fostering first and then decide whether or not this is the right time for you to foster. If you have a caring and understanding attitude and you feel you can understand the needs of the child then go ahead and give a child a good home.