Speak to any foster carer and you’re likely to hear a similar story: fostering has changed their life.
When our carer Deb was newer to fostering she said, “we’ve had our girls since November 2019 last year and they’ve filled our house and lives with fun, laughter, cuddles and drama. They give us insight into the world through their eyes, which is full of resilience, hope, joy and finding fun in everything they do.”
Being welcomed into a secure and loving foster home can transform life for a child in need – and bring a host of benefits for foster families as well.
The benefits of care for a foster child
A child’s brain grows and changes rapidly in the first three years of their life, and the attachments they experience during this time can affect the way the brain is shaped. Experiences of neglect often have long-lasting negative effects – but foster care can give children the chance to build new secure attachments and begin to heal from past traumas. The benefits of foster care for children can be countless, but it can also cause additional trauma from being removed from their family, even if it is in their best interest. Our foster families help to build their confidence and their therapeutic parenting applied can help to support children through the initial tough times.
The benefits of a safe and loving environment:
- Foster carers provide the security and stability crucial to a child’s development.
- Modelling a positive family dynamic gives foster children a chance to experience a more fulfilling and positive life – and for children who may have felt like outcasts, there’s nothing better than to be welcomed into a loving home.
- Many looked-after children experience unsafe or abusive living situations before coming into care. Foster care plays a vital role in giving children the chance to get out of those environments.
- Foster care improves a child’s chances of succeeding in education. Not only are they able to access additional support and receive a carefully considered plan for their education, a safe and secure home allows a child to concentrate and improve their academic performance.
- Positive bonds formed with foster parents and foster siblings can affect the way looked-after children behave towards others and give them a better framework for developing relationships in the future.
- An encouraging home environment helps a foster child build critical social skills and become more confident in themselves.
- Very simply – and very importantly – foster parents give a foster child the love they need to thrive.
Benefits for foster carers
Foster carers, like Deb, often discover that looking after a child in need is a life-changing experience. When some people begin looking into looking after children, some families draw up a pros and cons of fostering list. This is quite a crass way to make a decision, but it can help you figure out how your lives will change. The positives will always outweigh the negatives, and our foster families are a resilient bunch!
There are many benefits for foster parents, including:
- Discovering the best version of yourself. As you rise to new challenges and strive to meet the needs of a child, you may discover skills and resilience you didn’t know you had.
- Building new skills through training and experience, such as therapeutic parenting and conflict resolution.
- Fostering a child broadens your family’s horizons and teaches your children empathy, kindness and acceptance.
- You get to join a new and loving community of carers. At Compass Fostering, we see carers form wonderful and long-lasting friendships as they support one another through the fostering journey.
- Foster care also benefits your community as it reduces the risk of that child ending up homeless or involved with crime.
- Fostering is a deeply fulfilling act, as you get to watch a child overcome their past to flourish and grow – all while knowing that you were a key part of making that happen.
- Foster carers often develop lifelong relationships with former foster children, with many keeping in touch and remaining important parts of one another’s lives.
If you need any more convincing about the benefits of foster care, this wonderful poem from one of our Compass Fostering carers shows just powerful an experience fostering can be.
Fostering can truly change your life for the better – and change the lives of children in need. Discover the difference you can make by getting in touch to find out more about become a foster parent with Compass Fostering.