A Daughter’s story – My family foster

My name is Sarah. I am here to explain to you why you should consider fostering.

I have a lot of first-hand experience of fostering with my parents being foster carers for over 10 years. Today I will discuss foster care children, the overall system and give you a few of the many reasons you should consider bringing foster care into your life.

what is fostering?

A foster carer’s role is to provide a home for children that are currently unable to live with their biological parents and family. Whether it’s an overnight stay or for multiple years.

foster carers allow that child to have a stable, loving, and caring home. They make a serious difference to the lives of children that come into their care, you could too

I can guarantee you it’s not a repetitive job as there are so many different ages and backgrounds of children that you could foster.

There are four distinct kinds of fostering: long term, which is usually until the child is old enough to look after themselves. Short term: anywhere from a week’s stay to 2-3 years, emergency fostering, when a situation arises where the safety of a child can no longer be guaranteed at home, this could be very traumatic for a child. Potentially they may stay in this placement, or it is temporary until a longer-term solution can be found.

Lastly therapeutic fostering is where a child with special educational needs or who has suffered psychologically as a result of their early life experience, is placed with a foster family who is suited to help them.

Vulnerable children live in constant fear and desperation, they need your help now. Can you imagine how difficult it is to grow, learn and develop; hungry? Depending on the situation at home, children go days without food, water, or basic needs. Aside from the necessities, these children also get a lack of love, care, and nurture from their parents.

In the UK, there are about 78,000 children who have been taken into care, and more than 60% of the time, this is due abuse or neglect. With a responsible parent you gain many important life skills. You may recognize these as: physical activity, acquisition of thinking, reasoning and language skills, social interaction and understanding and managing our emotions.

I am sure that you can see why it’s essential for children to gather these skills. Fostering a child means that you can also give them academic stability, they would not get this in their previous homes. This is a norm that every child deserves.  If you believe that you are unique and can offer an individual take on life, then fostering is a perfect idea for you!

Foster care agencies actively celebrate diversity, whether you are single, married, in a civil partnership, own your own home or rent. We strongly encourage you to foster a child.

benefits to you and your family

Next, children aren’t the only ones benefiting from foster care. It won’t be your usual 9-5 job, but with it comes financial compensation. This will help you to look after your family and the foster child comfortably.

Additionally, having a child in your care will allow you to have training and development and it opens windows for future jobs. Fostering is ideal if you are looking for a permanent placement.

Currently, there are just under 4000 foster families in Wales, but there are more than 8,600 new foster families needed across the UK in 2021. Foster Wales is an agency that believes in working together, sharing knowledge, and building better futures for children – together.

Next, despite over a third (39%) of Welsh adults claiming they have considered becoming a foster carer, there is still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year. Foster care Wales will support you throughout your entire journey. Surely, you realize by providing a safe environment, warmth, and love, that you are saving the lives of innocent children.

What I have talked about today is only a fraction of the amount of the benefits that fostering does in our society and in Wales. Please consider the lives of others at risk and the difference you could make for them. Make a positive change and start fostering today!

We’re Foster Wales Neath Port Talbot, part of the national network of 22 Welsh Local Authority fostering services. Our aim is to build better futures for children within our community. 

If you live in Wales, visit the Foster Wales website where you can find all the information and contact your local authority service.

Statistics provided by The Fostering Network

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