Looking after a child is unlike any job you will ever have. It can be tiring, deflating and difficult. But any parent will tell you the positives outweigh the hard times: it’s rewarding, inspiring and life-changing. If you’ve reached the stage in your life where bearing children just isn’t an option, or if your own have flown the nest and you feel like your life needs purpose once again; then why not consider fostering? Fostering has many benefits for both yourself, and for the child you are taking in. Giving someone who’s had a tough time the chance for change and happiness is a wonderful experience that you’ll never forget.
Give your life meaning
Your children may have left for university and college, starting a life of their own and beginning new adventures. You may feel your life is lonely and without a purpose. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve never had the opportunity to have children of your own, coming to terms with that may have been the hardest stage of your life and could have left you feeling empty. The child you would be fostering will likely have been through similar emotions. Helping the child through their darkest days, giving them a loving, nurturing environment and watching them grow could be one of the most satisfying things you’ve ever done.
Earn an extra income
Of course, the primary reason for fostering a child should be because you want to change a child’s life. However, another benefit of fostering is the fostering allowance you can expect to receive. This will go towards everything the child could need including: food, clothing, leisure activities and toiletries. As a foster carer, you would also be classed as self-employed, allowing for a significant tax break. For birthday’s and Christmas, you are also given an extra allowance as these are often expensive times of the year, alleviating some of the stress they can bring.
Teach your children
If you’re already a parent to a young child or teenager, fostering another child can be greatly beneficial for both children. If your child is otherwise an only child, a foster child could bring companionship and friendship – something both children could have been missing from their lives. You will be showing your fostering child a world filled with love and joy, helping to shape their life and the adventures to come.
Furthermore, you could foster more than one child. If you have the capacity to foster two or three children, then this could be greatly beneficial to those children who have gone into the foster system with their siblings and are wanting to be kept together. You will be offered all the help and support you need for each child to ensure they live a content and fulfilled life whilst they are under your care.
The fostering journey will not always be easy, but the overwhelming love and care you’ll develop for your foster children will stay with you, building an unbreakable bond between you. When it’s time for them to move on, when you’ve done everything you possibly can, you can be sure you have indefinitely changed someone’s life for the better – including your own.