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What Is Fostering?

If you love children and are looking for a way to have a positive impact on their life then you may have thought about foster care before. Fostering is a way for people to help children who have faced disadvantages in their lives enjoy some stability and positive reinforcement by offering up their homes and their time.

Fostering comes in many guises, however, and can range from short relationships with a variety of different children to very long and intense ones with others. Foster carers differ as widely as the children they look after and they can offer anything from day care to children who return to their birth parents at night but need some extra care during the day, to long term caring where children become part of the foster family for extended periods.

The reasons for children ending up needing the help of foster carers can also vary widely. For example, it could be because of illness in their birth family or due to relationship breakdowns or even unsafe situations in which the welfare of the child has become threatened. In all of these cases, the provision of a safe and stable environment can be truly life changing for children and ensure that their future is brighter.

Fostering means opening up your personal home and your everyday life to children, so it’s not for everyone. Those who are able to provide adequate care and attention to the children who need it most are sure to find it an extremely rewarding experience. Social workers and fostering agencies will be able to help you discover whether you are a suitable candidate for fostering, both for your benefit but, more importantly, also for the benefit of the children you would potentially be caring for.

One thing that people need to be aware of when considering starting to provide foster care is the difference between this and adoption. When it comes to adoption, the legal ties between a child and its birth family are severed. This is not the case when it comes to fostering. Instead, legal responsibility for the child remains with the birth family or the local authority. However, the relationships formed between foster carers and children remain crucial for the wellbeing of the child.

Anyone who finds themselves asking ‘what is fostering?’ and who is keen to find out what they can do to improve the lives of children who need a little extra nurturing is likely to be a good candidate for the job.

Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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