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Foster Carers – The UK Needs You

If we are not able to take care of our younger generation now, the repercussions will be seen in the future of our communities. Across the UK, thousands of children – from small babies to teenagers – are put into the care system.
The system is in place to protect them from abuse and neglect and give them a semblance of a normal childhood. However, this system is creaking because of manpower shortages and stretched resources. Foster parents across the UK are doing a great job – opening their doors to strangers and giving them the basic security and comfort that every child deserves.

But there is always room for more people to get involved and foster care has its own rewards. If you are thinking of applying to become a foster parent, then here are some very useful facts.
The Numbers Speak The Story
According to a report by The Fostering Network published in 2018, there are more than 40,000 foster families in England. To be able to fill in for the number of children who go into care, there is a requirement to take that number past 50,000. The same shortage of foster homes is seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, albeit in smaller numbers.
Financial Protection For Foster Carers
You have several incentives to make the choice of becoming a foster carer. From a financial perspective, the fostering agency is well aware of the costs of raising a child. You will be given funding to provide the basics and you will also receive a payment for your services.
This acts like extra income and it is subject to certain tax rebates. Many families across the isles with a knack for fostering have taken this responsibility full time – it helps them give a home to more children and it also takes care of their livelihood.
An Emotionally Rewarding Experience
Being a foster carer is very exciting. If you have a good talent of connecting with people then this role is for you. It is a serious responsibility – you will be the light at the end of the tunnel for a child who has just experienced some form of trauma.
The foster children are susceptible to negative behavior patterns or they may go into a shell. Gaining their trust is important. Once they have warmed up to you, it will be like having another member of the family in the house, one who will always remember you as a positive influence. As a foster parent, you can help a child improve his or her life skills and academic performance – essential fundamentals if they are to grow into successful, content adults.
Being a foster carer also develops your own skills. You will be learning a lot about parenting techniques and after gaining experience, you will be sharing your insights with other foster carers. You will be communicating with social workers and foster agency reps all the time and having a foster child improved your interpersonal communication too. These skills will be useful in other walks of life, including the professional front.
Children are fun to be with. It gives you a chance to relive your own childhood as you get drawn into their daily routine – the stories from school, the play time, the excitement on their faces when they get a treat. When you take care of teenagers, they are more aware of the larger realities and this is your chance to establish yourself as a life guide. Along the way, you will learn many valuable lessons yourself.
Different Reasons Why Children Go Into Care
Being a foster carer is certainly not a walk in the park. But just a glance at the abuse that children face will give you some perspective – it is tough but not as bad as what they have been through. Many of these children were physically abused, some sexually too.
A lot come from households destroyed by drug addiction and there are those whose parents are facing prison sentences. Then there are children whose parents are very ill and are not able to provide basic care – this is a very sensitive scenario and you can provide the safe haven as they wait for their parents to get better.

The fostering agency will go into deeper details of the child once you have passed the necessary prerequisites. Take up fostering duties based on your experience and ability – it is something that you will get better with time. As a responsible adult, you can be a beacon for a lost child to find its way back. Consider fostering.

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