Published: 15:10, 10 December 2019
| Updated: 13:55, 20 December 2019
Have you set a target to achieve something really rewarding this year and help others in the process?
Then fostering could be the right choice for you!
With fostering, you could change the life of a child and that of your own. But is fostering for you?
One of the most common questions asked by a potential foster carer is if they have the necessary qualifications, experience or skills.
While foster caring is a unique role, most people wrongly assume that they are not cut out to take on such a responsibility.
We have all experienced challenges and achievements that have enhanced our resilience and given us insight into many issues that impact our children today.
For example, teenage children in care could benefit from role models who have overcome adversity and difficulties.
From ordinary people who know the value of healthy relationships and from supportive adults who can give encouragement to explore a variety of training and education options available throughout their transition into adulthood.
And the need for carers is now bigger than ever.
Figures from Medway Council show that there are approximately 64,000 children in the area out of which 419 are in the care of the local authority.
Over 300 children are in foster care with around 200 of these young people placed within the 159 Medway Fostering Households.
The remaining 111 of Medway’s children in care are placed with independent fostering agencies because there are simply not enough carers in Medway.
The myths surrounding fostering are unsurprising and somewhat understandable but the reality is actually so much more rewarding than most people can imagine.
Building a child’s trust through the means of providing stability and security within a loving home environment is the foundation to fostering.
That also includes celebrating a child’s achievements, however small.
Being inclusive of a child’s birth family and heritage enables a child to form a positive sense of their self.
This then creates an ability for a child to see themselves in a positive way, to believe they can achieve good things and are worthy of achieving these.
Children who are accepted for themselves and not defined by their history can excel in foster care. Being part of a foster family can and does give children a chance to rebuild their lives.
That’s not to say that fostering is not without its challenges but with the right kind of support, a foster carer could make a real and substantial difference in a child’s life.
Changing the mindset and seeing fostering from a different perspective could really open people up to the possibility.
Think about your personal challenges, your achievements and the relationships you’ve had; what have you learnt from these experiences?
Without even knowing it, each and every life event you’ve experienced has given you a skill or strength to take forward into fostering.
Transferable skills, knowledge and experience could mean you already have so much to offer our children in care. Together, we can make a difference.
So why wait?
Foster carers can help a child achieve happiness and be proud of themselves. They can be kept safe and given a childhood worth remembering.
Those interested in contacting Fostering at Medway Council can visit the official website by clicking here or telephone 01634 335 726.
You can also visit the official Facebook page by clicking here.
More by this authorMedway Messenger reporter