It’s true: fostering can provide a life-changing experience for the foster child. Welcomed into warm and loving homes, they are met with a safe and stable environment to grow and even thrive.
But what about the benefits for the foster parents themselves? Opening their hearts and homes means so much for the children involved, but it can also be a transformational time for the caregivers.
- Children in the foster care system have often experienced a trauma or hardship. Fostering gives parents the opportunity to provide a safe haven and support system for the children who need it most. You will be able to provide them with a consistent living environment that will give them the chance to work through difficulties and try to overcome obstacles. Helping during this trying and transitional period in their lives can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling for the parents involved.
- As a foster parent, you are not just providing love and care, but you are meeting a need. You are making a positive contribution to your community, taking care of a child who has been displaced from their home and needs a supportive caregiver.
- If you are already married and with kids, fostering a child can create a strong bond through a shared goal and experience. Working together as a family to welcome in a new addition will be extremely rewarding, and gives you the chance for everyone to build new, important relationships. You will also have the chance to create a strong bond with the foster child themselves– a bond that will last long after the child leaves your home.
- And whether you have kids or don’t, adding a foster child to your family will enhance your life in new ways. Growing in your capacity to love and care for a child will bring new meaning to your life.
- When you foster, you’ll learn a lot. Foster parents are required to take free classes and trainings to ensure they are well-equipped and prepared. These trainings will not help you become a better parent and caregiver, but will also make you more aware of the foster system and its needs, locally and beyond. You’ll also surely learn new skills that are transferable to other areas of your life, including intangibles like patience, compassion, and empathy.
- Fostering a child can create a positive ripple effect. Those in your circle and community might be inspired but what you are doing and want to do the same. If they aren’t able to foster a child directly, it might entice them to help out the foster care system in another way.
- If you are interested in adopting, the US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that fostering can provide a quicker route to adoption than other means.
- Although financial gains or rewards should never be at the top of the list for any foster parent, fostering does offer monetary allowances for your service and to ensure the proper care of the child. Substantial tax credits are also provided for foster parents.