Fostering is one of the most varied, challenging and rewarding jobs you can do. People choose to foster for all sorts of reasons, but here are some you may want to consider why you should foster:
The chance to really make a difference
Like other jobs working with children, fostering can be very rewarding. Foster carers help children in the care system by providing them with a safe, loving and caring home for as long as they need it. Children who cannot return home but still want to stay in touch with their families often live in long term foster care, so some foster carers will see a child grow and develop over a number of years. Others will have the satisfaction of seeing a family overcome its difficulties. Foster carers have a unique chance to make a real difference to a child’s life, supporting them and working to help them develop and achieve their potential.
A flexible role
There is nothing quite like fostering if you want to work with children. Working from home, it is possible to combine fostering with caring for your own children and many foster carers choose to specialise so that they can work with children of certain ages, needing particular types of care or a particular length of time. Many foster carers juggle fostering with other work but certain specialist schemes and children will require their foster carers to be available for them full time.
Foster care is changing
Foster carers are increasingly recognised as child care professionals. Fostering is not easy and it is important that foster carers receive all the training and support they need to meet the needs of vulnerable children. All receive an allowance to cover the cost of looking after a child and foster carers should receive a fostering allowance for the work that they do, depending on the type of fostering they specialise in.
Throughout their career foster carers can take advantage of continued professional development and the chance to gain qualifications. In addition a range of roles are available within our fostering service, such as training newly approved foster carers or facilitating support groups.
More foster carers are needed
A wider pool of foster carers is needed right across the UK so children can live with a family in their local area wherever possible. Children thrive on familiarity and it is important that the move to live with a new family is as smooth as possible at this difficult time. The more people who are approved as foster carers, the more likely it is that a good match can be found for a child in terms of location, culture, lifestyle, language and interests. At Shining Stars, we work very hard to find the right family for a child- this is called the matching process.