Five Important Considerations When Fostering a Child

From independent fostering agency Fostering Solutions

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Making the decision to foster a child is one of the most honourable and rewarding choices you can make. Taking on responsibility for a child is, however, not an act that should be undertaken without a great deal of self-reflection.

If you’re considering fostering a child, there are five important points that you must first consider before embarking on this life-changing journey.   

1.            Stability

Children are placed into foster care for a great number of reasons. Some have been orphaned as a result of their biological parents suffering an accident; others may have been placed voluntarily into care as their parents were unable to look after them properly, while others may be the victims of abuse or neglect.

The one thing that any child needs in their life is stability. If in a relationship, it is imperative that you and your partner discuss your relationship in an open and honest manner. A fostered child needs to sleep soundly in the knowledge that their new foster carers are able to provide a stable environment in which they can live, so this must be something that you are confident you can offer.

2.            Support networks

Looking after a child is a time-consuming task, whether they are foster children or not. It is essential, therefore, that you ensure that you and your partner have a strong support network to help when the stresses and strains of everyday life become too much.

This support network should ideally consist of close friends and a loving family, both of which should be willing to help out with childcare and emotional support at a moment’s notice.

In addition, an often neglected consideration is the role that siblings will play in your foster child’s upbringing. If you already have children, ensure that you have a conversation with them about how they feel about welcoming a new child into the family.

3.            Employment flexibility

Fostering is a full-time profession. It is possible to carry on working while looking after a foster child, but it requires a great deal of understanding and flexibility on the part of your employer.

If you’re considering making the decision to foster, you should discuss the matter openly with your current employer, addressing issues such as part-time or flexible working. If you are going to continue working after you foster a child, it’s important that you take on that child safe in the knowledge that your current employer understands your new need for flexibility.

4.            Emotional readiness

While you may initially see fostering as a process which is difficult solely for the child, it’s important January 10, 2014me foster placements will be for the long term, many are short term, until a suitable family can be found to adopt your foster child or until they return to their family.

The constant changes in your life, getting to know new children, bonding with them and then seeing them move on, can take its toll over the long term. Before you begin your fostering journey, it’s important to assess whether you can deal with this emotional turbulence. If you decide to proceed, ensure you utilise the help of your social worker and your support network during this time.

5.            Attention

If you don’t have children, or only have one child, it can be easy to underestimate the time, love and attention that another child requires. Having previous experience of bringing up children is beneficial, but no two children are the same. It’s entirely possible that your foster child may require more attention than you’re capable of giving him or her.

Before fostering, it’s imperative to consider the realities of increasing the size of your family and whether or not you truly will be able to cope with the increased demands on your time and energy.

A life choice

Making the decision to foster a child is a choice that has the potential to positively transform your life, as well as the lives of many children in need of a loving home. If you’re considering taking the next step and becoming a foster carer, visiting a website such as is a great starting point. The site addresses commonly asked questions, provides details about the training offered to new foster carers and, most importantly, is able to offer you support as you make this life-enhancing commitment. 


July 22, 2013