When my brother and I moved out of home to go to university, my parents were quite lost. My mother often complained that she found the house quite empty since we have moved. In turn, my father never liked going back to a half-empty house either, even to the point he wished our untidy shoes were in the doorway again, and that he was shouting us down for dinner. They missed company, and felt unfulfilled in their lives.
There was something that they did know. They wanted to look after children. After doing some research, they have found a fostering agency and, after going through the training and assessments, they have managed to become foster parents. Since then, it had changed their lives in many ways you can not imagine. So, I thought I should share these seven reasons with you in why you should consider a career in fostering.
1. They will need your help and guidance
Foster children have been through a lot at a young age. Particularly older teens. Although it is hard to understand what they have been through, we all know at that age, stability and guidance is key to help with the transition to adulthood.
So, as a carer you have the chance to influence to rest of their lives based on their placement with you. By being there for them, you will always feel a sense of pride when you see them changing for the better. Whether this is getting good grades, or opening up to you, the feeling is amazing.
2. You can aid them by providing life skills
Depending how long the fostering child placements are with you, you have the chance you positively influence their lives. This can start from something as small as baking or cooking their first mac and cheese to helping them out with a resume for their first job! You can teach them how to manage their personal finances and how to do groceries. Either way, you are going to grant them life skills that will set them up for the rest of their lives. Looking back, they may will grateful for your help.
3. You may learn a lot more in return
I cannot stress how much you learn from these fostering children with their stories and experiences. They already come with a level of life experience and “baggage” under their belt and you accept it. You learn to be more aware of what else is happening in society. At times, foster children can even offer or share advice with you.
4. Fostering can be rewarding
From my parents, I learned it does not take much to be helpful and aid others in need. I am glad my parents have taught me it is never too late to help others, and put them first. True, it would have been difficult to handle if my brother and I were still in the household. Our parents may have struggled to prioritised one over the other.
Still, I will not lie. They have expressed that it is a very difficult job at times, bringing a child into their own homes and trying to create a rapport and relationship with them. The child at that one have been through a lot, and may struggle to trust adults based on their past experiences. Yet, after some time, they can open up which is seen as a breakthrough for many foster parents.
So despite its challenges, my parents have never looked back and enjoyed sharing their experiences with others and the foster kids. They also felt that they have become better listeners as a result!
5. You can earn money
Earning money is a big plus from this career. And we all know looking after children can be costly in the long run. So, foster allowance is provided throughout the placement. This way, you know you are being compensated for your time and being able to afford things that your foster child needs. Getting a foster allowance means that this way it can ease your monthly outgoings. Still, the emotional benefits in return is amazing, and can be very special. So, fostering as a career should not be done purely for monetary reasons as these foster children will be in your care.
6. They’re children!
Every child deserves to be cared for and looked after. They should not be denied the right to be loved and looked after. Their laughs are infectious and guaranteed to be a daymaker when you see them being happy. Those who are infertile can seek this option if they love children. So, if it is the one thing that is certain, there will never be a dull day in your household. There may be frustrations but when you see those children being happy, you forget about it all.
7. They need people like you!
I find people like my parents are very inspiring. However, unfortunately, there will always be kids who will always be in care and lost their parents. People like my parents can not care for everyone and take them underneath their wings.
All young children and teenagers need guidance to make sense of their lives and situation that they are in. Our society will always need more open and benevolent people to look after these children in care. These children are looking for someone to depend on and in turn, need someone to believe in them and help them succeed. It is genuinely, a beautiful idea or fact in that person that they view is you.
My parents have found a new sense of purpose since they have started fostering. I will definitely consider it myself when I am older. You can still juggle fostering with your main occupation. With my parents, they still love every single experience of it, and that includes the good and bad. It is a fulfilling life experience which is helping others in need, and knowing you can impact their lives no matter how small your actions are. After all, what better feeling is there in seeing them succeed and helping them during their worst circumstances?
Alexa Yeung is a budding freelance writer. She wanted to write about her parents’ experiences with a fostering manchester agency, as it is an experience which has positively influenced her outlook in life, and wanted to share her family experiences with others.