Fostering comes in many different forms. All too often, people assume fostering means you welcome a child into the home, and they stay with you until they turn 18 years old. While this may be true of a long-term foster child, it’s not the case for all types. Another type of fostering that is not only popular but very much in need of carers, is short-term fostering.
If you currently have birth children in the home and have been considering fostering, you may want to look into short-term as an option. But is your family ready for this kind of foster type? Let’s take a closer look.
Everyone In the Home Is Ready to Welcome a Foster Child
First off, everyone needs to be on the same page. It’s not just the adult(s) who will be involved in fostering, as the children in the home will also be affected. This is a chance for your children to see how rewarding it can be to give back and help a child in need. Your short-term foster child will need to be greeted with open arms that will be supportive and offer a stable environment.
Having a conversation with your children is a great place to start. Encourage them to ask questions so they can learn more about the process and what will be expected of them and the entire family.
Your Foster Child Will Need a Separate Bedroom
Then there’s the question of space. Bringing a short-term foster child into the home means you need a bedroom of their own, not a shared space, so they have a private space they can call their own.
You Love the Idea of Having a Positive Impact on a Child’s Life
Maybe you feel like you’ve got a lot to offer a child, and that you want to make a positive impact. This is the exact kind of quality that foster carers need so that they create the kind of environment that is perfect for foster kids. Having a foster child live with you, even in the short term, is a privilege – how often do you get chances in life to help someone this much?
Does Everyone Understand What Short-Term Means?
The big difference between a short and long-term foster is the length of time they stay with you. A short-term foster child may only be with you for a few days or up to two years. This can be hard in terms of attachment. Everyone needs to understand that, with a short-term foster child, it’s not forever, and they need to be okay with the emotions they’ll feel.
If you and/or your children are the type who get attached quickly, a long-term foster child may make more sense. Visit ispfostering.org.uk to learn more about the different types of fostering.
There’s no other way to put it – fostering a child even in the short term is a life-changing decision for the whole family and one that will leave you with incredibly fond memories that last a lifetime.