6 reasons why people want to be foster carers

Why do people want to be foster carers?

Becoming a foster parent can be a life-changing decision that comes with great rewards. In Wales, the need for foster parents is increasing every year. The reasons why people want to be foster carers will always be very personal and unique to every individual who decides to follow this journey.

We had the opportunity to speak with some of our foster carers who shared their experiences and the benefits of fostering and rounded up 6 main reasons why people want to foster. 

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, Foster Wales Newport can provide support and guidance on your journey. Find out if you meet the requirements to become a foster carer and learn more about how we can help.

1. Offer a safe and stable home for children in need.

Becoming a foster carer allows you to offer a nurturing home environment for children who have experienced difficulties. There are many reasons why children cannot live with their family; it can be due to problems their parents are experiencing, such as illness, relationship difficulties or substance misuse. You can provide them with loving care, positive values and a sense of security, and help them heal from their traumatic experiences. 

“It’s a great feeling to know that you’re potentially going to make a difference in a child’s life”, said one of our local foster carers. She also added, “You don’t need to be a superhero to do it, all you need is the willingness to open your heart to the child and be there for them.”

At the core of fostering is a dedication to making a difference in children’s life. Sometimes your home might be a shelter for a child that needs an emergency bed for a night; other times, it can become a safe haven for a longer period – a month, a year or several years. As a foster carer, you accept a child as part of your family and potentially change the course of their life. Find out about different types of fostering that are available.

2. Make a positive impact on a child’s life.

Fostering a child can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their life. By offering love, support, and guidance, you can help them develop into confident and resilient individuals. 

“It’s the confidence that they gain. They often start off as these shy, scared and unsure children. And then after a few months, you’ll notice that their confidence has grown, and they start to believe in their abilities. It’s a real joy to watch this happen.”

– a local authority foster carer

Foster care allows you to have a profound impact on a child’s life by giving them the tools they need to thrive and succeed. As a foster parent, you can instil confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging that will stay with a child for a lifetime. 

Your tasks as a foster carer will vary depending on the age of the child you foster. Younger children will need to be taken to and picked up from school; you will need to organise family time and entertainment, assist with everything children need at a young age, and nurture and teach them.

Older children and teens will need your wisdom, guidance, and support. You will help prepare them for adult life, which can include advising them on their educational path; how to manage money and bills, how to cook and do laundry, how to deal with emotions, and more. 

Regardless of their age, your role will be to believe in them and be there for them.

“We need to make sure that these young people get the best possible chance to achieve their potential. Instilling this foundation to have a good successful life is important to us.” 

– Lee and Lucy, Newport local authority foster carers

3. Learn and grow as a person.

People want to be foster carers because it can be a deeply rewarding and challenging experience that teaches life skills, such as patience, empathy, and resilience. It can also help you develop a better understanding of yourself and others around you. 

Becoming a foster carer can improve your communication skills. You will interact with various individuals, such as social workers, teachers, fellow foster carers, and birth parents. Through this experience, you can enhance your ability to communicate effectively, actively listen, and offer constructive feedback calmly.

Through fostering, you will learn valuable skills in adaptability and problem-solving. Each child you welcome into your home will have unique needs, personalities, and behaviours, requiring you to adjust your care approach accordingly. Dealing with a variety of children will present different challenges that will test your ability to come up with creative solutions to any issues that may arise.

“It’s a very humbling experience, and it’s also a very rewarding experience.”

– a local authority foster carer

4. Help reunite families.

Foster care can be a short-term measure to assist children while their parents strive to establish a safe and secure environment for them. As a foster parent, you can play a critical role in supporting families and aiding children in reuniting with their parents (if this is in the child’s best interest).

Our local foster carer said, “I’ve seen young people come into my care and receive the support they need, sometimes for a short period, sometimes for a long period, and be reunited with their families, and that’s an amazing feeling.”

5. Expand your family.

Fostering provides an opportunity to grow your family and create lasting bonds with children who may not have had a stable home environment otherwise. 

It can also be a bonding experience for your family. As you welcome a new child or a young person into your home, you and your family members have the opportunity to develop a close relationship with the foster child. Additionally, fostering can bring your family closer as you work together to support and care for the foster child. 

By fostering a child, your family may be exposed to diversity and different cultures. This exposure can broaden your family’s perspective, help them embrace differences, and promote acceptance. Your family can also learn important skills like empathy and understanding. 

“It’s been a great way of expanding our family, helping children and young people to achieve their potential, and it’s also beneficial for our own family as well”.

“Our birth children have this ability to relate to other children and bring them out of their shells and show more of their personality.”

Lee, Newport local authority foster carer

6. Make a difference in your community.

Becoming a foster carer is an impactful way to meet a crucial need in your community and enhance the well-being of children who may otherwise lack a secure and supportive home. “Making a difference” is not just a slogan and a cliche. Foster carers bring incredible value to the communities they live in.

By fostering for your local authority, you help reduce the number of children placed in commercial fostering placements. When children are placed in private commercial fostering placements, they are more likely to be placed out of their local area and separated from their family, friends, and community. By becoming a foster carer with Foster Wales, you help keep children local and in a family setting. This makes a huge difference to their well-being and sense of belonging. The local authority is also not for profit, unlike commercial agencies who make a profit as a business.

As a foster parent, you also support families in crisis. Children enter foster care because their families are experiencing difficulties. As a foster carer, you provide a safe place for their children while they receive the support and services needed to reunify with their children.

By fostering children from your community, you also contribute positively to society. As a carer, you are helping children build healthy relationships, develop positive coping skills, and acquire valuable life skills. When children are safe and stable, they are better equipped to thrive in their lives and in exchange give back to their community in the future.

Can I foster a child in Newport?

The requirements for fostering a child in Wales may vary slightly depending on the specific fostering agency or your local authority. However, in general, you should be eligible to foster a child if you meet the below criteria:

  • You are aged 21 or over.
  • You are eligible to work and live in the UK.
  • You are able to provide a safe and suitable home:

The home in which the foster child will live must be safe and have suitable space and facilities for the foster child to live comfortably. A foster child will need their own bedroom; however, siblings may be able to share the bedroom depending upon age and gender.

  • You are in good physical and emotional health.

Foster carers must be in good physical and emotional health to ensure they can fully support a child’s wellbeing. As part of the fostering assessment, you will undergo a medical to check if you are fit to foster. It’s carried out by your GP and the report is sent to a medical adviser for their views about your physical and mental health. If you are thinking about becoming a foster carer, we advise that you discuss any health issues with us as early as possible.

  • You have a good character and no serious criminal convictions.

Foster carers must not have any disqualifying offences (for example, an offence against children or a sexual offence) and must provide a personal reference from the last 5 years.

What support do you receive as a foster carer with Foster Wales Newport?

At Foster Wales, we do everything we can to support you in your fostering journey.  

1. We provide you with all the necessary training., learning and development opportunities provided in a flexible way.

Training can include topics such as communication, managing challenging behaviours, attachment, and trauma-informed care.

2. We offer financial support. 

Foster Wales Newport offers a financial allowance to cover expenses such as clothing, transport, and pocket money for the child in their care. to cover the costs of caring for a child or a young person. We also provide a fostering fee to the foster carer.

3. You can be offered short break (respite) care

We can arrange short break care where appropriate to provide you with regular breaks from your caring duties. This can help to prevent burnout and ensure that you can provide high-quality care to your foster child. 

4. We connect you with support networks

When you foster with us you never feel alone. We provide you with access to support networks to help you connect with other foster carers and share experiences and advice. You will have access to peer support and support groups and regular newsletters and social events. This can be particularly valuable when you are just starting your fostering journey.

5. You receive regular contact and supervision

You’ll have your own supervising social worker as well as a child’s social worker who stays in regular contact with you. This allows you to raise questions, provides advice and guidance, and receive feedback and support.

Find out more about the support and rewards for foster carers in Newport. 

Could you foster a child or a young person in Newport?

If you live in Newport, Wales, send us a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can call us on 01633 210272 for a friendly non-obligatory chat.

If you live elsewhere in Wales, visit the Foster Wales website, where you can find all the necessary information about fostering and contact details for your local authority fostering service.

Choosing Foster Wales is a decision to work with real people in your local community, who put children’s best interests at the core of everything they do.

Story Time

Stories From Our Carers

Woman and young girl using computer to make video call

contact us today

get in touch