A lot of people wonder why children end up in fostering and there are numerous reasons for the same. Nobody wants to be in a foster care but sometimes life is unfair and children end up having to stay away from their parents for a short period of time. Fostering is a temporary arrangement for children who are separated from their parents due to some reason like safety, abuse or neglect. The period for which children will stay in foster care depends on the situation of the family and the options available to them. For some children, foster care is for a brief period of time while for many others it lasts from one year to three years and could be longer. The goal of fostering is to ensure that the children get a stable environment to live in and they receive the love and care they deserve. Here are a few things you need to know about the children in foster care.
1. They are just kids
Foster kids are like any other kids who only want to be loved and accepted. They might have gone through some trauma which is why they could find it difficult to trust anybody for some tie but it does not mean that they do not want to be loved. They might also act difficult at times but that is because of their past which keeps on making them doubt others. It will take some time for you to bond with the child and it will require a lot of patience and work but it will all be worth it in the end. It is very important for you to listen to the full report of the child and understand what they need. Try to get into details about where the child is coming from and what the child has gone through in the past. When you understand the past of the child, you will be able to help them adjust and be a part of your family.
2. They can be highly emotional
Foster children lack behind in their emotional growth because of abuse, neglect or substance abuse and it is importance to allow them to overcome the emotional block and nurture them at the emotional level and not as per their chronological age. You might have to go to an extreme in order to make sure that their emotional requirements are met. You will have to hold them, carry them and incase of infants, cuddle them. You might even have to hand feed them or even bottle feed them depending on their age and requirement. Their emotional needs would were unmet as a toddler and it is important for them to receive nurturing in the form of emotional care. They have the ability to be as emotional as you are but you need to give them an opportunity and a chance at love. Their emotional needs were not met and you as a foster carer can ensure that they are met now. Fostering is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a commitment to look after the child at all times and under all situations and you can learn more about it on https://perpetualfostering.co.uk/.
3. Some kids have higher needs
Fostering is not easy and it will need every ounce of patience and courage in you to foster a child. You will have to know your limits and most importantly, look at the bigger picture. This means you will have to consider the services which are offered in your area or move to a different area in order to serve the needs of the child. You might have to foster a child who has special needs and you will have to do everything possible to ensure that their needs are met. This means making strong decisions which will have an impact on your life as well.
4. There could be times when it will be difficult to parent
There might come a time when it is extremely difficult for you to parent or counsel a child. No matter the how much you intervene or try to help the child, it will not help. It will become difficult to parent the child and it could also become unsafe for other members in the family. Do not lose hope, you are not a bad parent. But you will have to find an alternative living solution for the child. This might be the last resort but it is the best you can do for a child. Consider the interests of the child and keep in mind that you are doing your best for the better future of the child.
5. It will take time to adjust
Fostering requires a lot of patience and it will take time for you to adjust with them and not the other way round. You will have to change yourself, change your lifestyle and accommodate a child in your daily routine. But you need to understand that it is a wonderful challenge and you will accept the children the way they are. The entire process will only make you a better parent and you will overcome the challenges into time.
Fostering is a rewarding job and there is nothing like helping a child overcome trauma and to support them to grow into wonderful, responsible individuals. When you have a child in your home, you exceed all the expectations that you put on them and there is no magic wand, however, you will have to take everyday as a challenge and overcome it with love, care and patience. At the end of the fostering period, you will see yourself as a responsible individual who has grown with time. If you are considering being a foster carer, you need to understand that there is no qualification or experience which is needed, but you need to have a huge heart and patience to accept a child in your home and to let them grow.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)