Fostering: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

When children aren’t able to live within their birth household, they often enter the care system, and in the absence of a foster home, that’s where they may remain for many weeks, months and even years. 

Becoming a foster parent helps you give back a sense of stability to a child who may be feeling incredibly vulnerable and unloved, and as a career, it’s one of the most loving you can choose; you are literally, fostering love

If you’re new to the world of fostering and would like to know more about becoming a foster parent and how you can help a child feel safe and loved, here is a brief guide:

What is fostering?

Children and teenagers who are unable to live with their birth parents and for whom there is no appropriate guardian, are placed into foster care, and when a foster family becomes available, they are sent to live with them. 

The foster system is a robust one designed to protect both foster families and the children placed under their care, but ultimately, it’s one that offers a safe, reliable and loving environment to vulnerable young children and teenagers. You can choose from short-term foster placements, that may last a few weeks or months, or longer-term ones that may see a child remaining with you until they reach adulthood. 

What are the different types of foster care?

Below are the 5 different types of fostering placements:

  • Emergency

These are made when a child needs to be removed from a home environment immediately due to something that threatens their wellbeing. 

  • Short-term 

These placements typically last for a number of weeks or months, not years, and are intended to provide needy children with a safe home while their situation is assessed and the best course of action is decided upon.  

  • Long-term

This may mean caring for a foster child for a number of years, and in some instances, until they reach adulthood and are able to care for themselves independently. 

  • Respite

This particular type of placement offers families struggling to cope for whatever reason, a short break while their child is in a safe and loving foster home, with the idea of them being returned after a short period, and ideally, to a more welcoming and loving environment. This placement is often offered to parents of disabled children, too, who simply need to recharge their batteries.  

  • Specialist

Foster carers who have received specialist training are assigned foster children with special needs, whether this be a behavioral issue, a disability or an illness, for example.

Who can become a foster parent?

Foster parents who pass the rigorous assessment required to be placed in charge of vulnerable children, are given economic assistance to cover the costs involved with doing so, and receive ongoing support from a growing network of other foster parents, medical professionals and childcare experts, among others. 

What impact can fostering have on a child?

The impact fostering can have on a child is a profound one, and the difference you can make to a vulnerable child’s life should never be underestimated. In some instances, you and your family may be a literal lifeline for a child, and in terms of their future, you can offer them a brighter one than they might otherwise have been able to look forward to. 

Fostering children is rewarding beyond words, and while it does come with its challenges (as raising any child does), what you can give back to a child at what may well be the toughest time in their life, is hard to put into words. 

Love is at the core of every fostering experience, and if you’ve got lots of love to give to a child experiencing a challenging period in their life, why not become a foster parent?


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