People sometimes focus on the difficulties and issues that young people face in foster care, but what are the benefits of fostering a child?

Placing children into a foster home can transform their lives, but they are not the only ones who benefit from the arrangement. Becoming a foster carer is extremely rewarding and for many carers it is a calling rather than a job. Of course, there are highs and lows, but the positive for both partners outweigh any negatives.

How the child benefits

It provides a stable and secure environment for many a reason, a young person in care has been separated from their family. They may not be in contact with their friends either, and it is always a stressful situation. By providing stability, the family help the foster child benefit by supporting them through this difficult period. Carers can also give a safe environment that they may not have experienced before. This will provide help with psychological or behavioural issues.

It gives the young person a Family life -Children in care may have experienced abuse or neglect. They may have been abandoned or have some behavioural problems. Their parents could be suffering long term illness or be in prison. Whatever the reason, some of these children will not have benefited from a normal home life before. Foster care offers that opportunity and for some it could be their first experience of it.

Relationship attachments are still strong between children and parents, even when the child has been placed in care. Foster parents offer support and the opportunity to maintain this connection under supervision. Foster Children benefit from controlled contact with their families.

How the carer benefits

Fostering can be extremely rewarding to the foster parents and the family as a whole.

Knowing you are providing a child with a stable environment when he or she needs it most is one of the most positive aspects of fostering. Fostering comes with its own challenges and issues. Being able to offer love and security to young people knowing it could have a huge positive impact, is extremely important to foster carers.

Money should never be the sole driving force to fostering, but the monetary allowances help provide the child with certain needs. It also makes it possible for you to open up your home and allow the child to benefit from an opportunity that might never been available to them.

Fostering also offers opportunities to expand skills through a variety of training courses. These courses are aimed at helping you to deliver a high service to young people in your care, but some of these skills will be transferable across other areas of your life.

Developing relationships that can last a lifetime can be a joy to foster parents. It can also be sad when it comes to saying goodbye, but the pleasure in creating that bond is often seen as a blessing. Foster parents can also benefit greatly from these bonds and working with different personalities can help you develop as a person. These memories will last a lifetime with the young person. When a strong bond has been made this is the ultimate reward for both carers and young people in care. Many relationships forged through fostering become lifetime benefits through friendship or companionship in some cases the strong bond made goes on to the foster parents adopting the Young Person.

So to sum it all up Yes there are difficulties in fostering, but by concentrating on the benefits it is easy to understand why carers carry on fostering for many years. The satisfaction and pride in helping a young person with difficulties develop into a rounded individual is the ultimate reward for many foster carers.