Being a foster carer can be extraordinarily difficult and incredibly rewarding at the same time. Giving a child in need a home is the same thing as giving them an opportunity to grow into well-rounded happy adults with a variety of goals, dreams and ambitions. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer in Bristol for a child who needs help, you need to know what you can expect from your experience before you move forward.
Many people who are inexperienced with foster care have unrealistic expectations, which can make the process that much more challenging. Knowing about the ups and downs of foster care can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you and your family.
One of the most important things you need to be aware of if you want to become a foster carer in Bristol is that taking in another child will undoubtedly be difficult both in terms of your emotions and your finances. According to a recent Bristol research study, a third of informal kinship carers are facing severe financial challenges and living in poverty as a result of their decision to care for another child. If you don’t want to become a part of that statistic even as a formal foster carer, you need to be sure that you are financially capable of feeding, clothing and providing shelter to another human being.
That doesn’t mean you need to be rich to reach out to children who desperately need a home and a secure family structure, but you should be able to afford necessities for both your family and your foster child. It helps to sit down and estimate how much money you are going to need to take care of a foster child and how much support you can count on from government programs. Once you have a figure in mind, compare it to your income level and consider what you can compromise on to put more money toward foster child care.
Once you have your finances straightened out, make sure that you are emotionally ready to become a foster carer. In the above-mentioned study, 88% of children who were involved had been abused at some point in their lives. While the study focused on informal foster carers, you can expect a similar figure from foster children in general. They often have behavioral problems or difficulty adjusting. You also have to keep in mind that a new child, especially if he or she needs special physical or mental care, will instantly change your family dynamic. If you have young or teenage biological children, taking in a foster child should be a decision that you both make.
Of course foster care is not at all about feeling financially strained and emotionally exhausted. The point is that if you take the time to prepare yourself for being a foster carer and you know what you can expect in the first few weeks of your time together, you can walk away with one of the best and most rewarding experiences of your entire life. Many kids who end up in foster care are exceptionally intelligent, loving and caring people on the inside. They just need affection and encouragement from adults they can trust to get a chance to grow to their highest potential.
*This article was provided by Amol K.