Had someone asked me to write an article on fostering and all that it entailed a few years ago, I would be fishing for words and breaking my head. I was not sure of what the term exactly meant and the laws that were put in place that concerned fostering. And I am pretty sure, there might be several families and several individuals around who are either completely or vaguely oblivious of this term. For those of you who do not know what fostering is, let me provide a working definition of it. Fostering is a system where couples take up the responsibility of raising a child as their own and get paid for the child’s upbringing by the state. Of course, there is more to the entire process, but this is as simple a definition as it can get.
You might be wondering how exactly is fostering different from adoption. In the case of fostering, the foster parents are paid by the state to provide for the child. However, in the case of adoption, this is not quite what happens. The adoptive parents raise the child on their own accord like they would have done to their biological baby.
The reason why foster parents are paid a certain sum of money is so that they do not, at any point in time, find the ward as their liability. Several cases around the world have been reported where kids who live with foster parents, have been treated brutally. Therefore, the state makes sure that money is never an impediment to providing a kid the right future. We shall look into the concept of fostering in greater detail in the following section. If you have been considering taking up the role of being foster parents, maybe this article is just the need of the hour. Also, visit Calon Cymru Fostering to get more details on how the entire process works and what it is that you have to do to become great foster parents.
A Brief About How Foster Care Works:
The article has laid the groundwork as to what foster care is and how it works in a nutshell. Now we shall look into the greater details of it so that you can take such decisions better. Here is what you should know at the very beginning of the discussion. When we talk about foster parents, parent-plus or couples assuming the role of foster parents, it is not implied that they have to be a married couple. Parenting has nothing to do with your marital status (and this works not just for foster parents but for every kind of relationship as well). Co-parenting is a complete idea in itself. Therefore, do away with the thought that in order to be foster parents, you have to be married. No, it does not work that way!
Now we shall take a look at the other rubrics that needs conforming to in order to foster a child:
- Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age. This seems like a pretty tender age to take up the responsibility of a child. But, some states are quite generous when it comes to handling and raising a child. However, some other states might require you to be of 65 years or older to become foster parents. The criterion of age, therefore, varies with different states.
- Foster parents must make sure that they have arrangements for a separate room for the child that they are about to bring into their family. Every human being requires their own space and children are no different. The child must be made to feel safe among new people, lest it might be an emotionally grueling and challenging process for the child to adjust in a new environment.
- Foster parents must be financially stable. This is not because the state requires the parents to provide for the child with their own finances. This is so that the money that is provided by the state is not misused in any way or used to fulfill the personal requirements of the family.
- Foster parents must be emotionally and physically stable, as well as emotionally supportive of the child. The moot point of fostering a child is to see that he/she has a safe space to grow up and live in. Every child is entitled to love, care and support and foster parents must see to it that they have the potential to provide such an environment for their ward.
Fostering could be an emotionally exhausting process since children who are put into foster care stay for a short while with the foster family. Therefore, once an emotional chord is struck between the foster parents and the child, it becomes difficult for the family as well as the child to snap all ties and establish a new connection with another family. However, in spite of all the challenges that fostering might bring along with it, it is still one of the best deeds. You would be providing a child with love and care that he/she would not have otherwise received. Fostering, thus, truly is a form of employment with a human touch.
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