Being a foster parent is no easy task. It requires total commitment to care for a child you did not give birth to. Add to that the fact that many children who enter the foster system come from families that were not able to show them stability. Some of these children come from parents who do drugs, violence and have even resorted to abusing their own children.
It is now up to the foster parent to create a positive influence in that child’s life. It can be a daunting task, but many who have been a foster parent for years have claimed that it was all worth it. It helps that there are many support systems available for those who would like to be foster parents. Agencies such as Nexus Fostering aim to provide quality support and care to their network of foster carers.
But there is also fear that in the near future, there will be many changes that could happen in the foster care system. The three listed below are some of the perceived ways that it will change in the future.
Due to financial instability and the cost of housing, fewer people will want to be foster parents.
Foster carers in the UK are volunteers who get an allowance to cover the costs that they will incur while caring for their foster child. The thing with the setup of the foster system is that carers do not usually have another job. That is because arrangement in foster care is unpredictable, with some placements ending very soon and it might take some time before they get a new charge and during that time, the carers do not get an allowance. There’s also the cost of housing, with many families unable to rent or purchase homes with extra rooms because it is too expensive. Also, the younger generation, despite wanting to care for foster children, is hesitant to rethink their career options due to the financial instability that being a foster carer may bring.
There is a possibility that there will be more residential care than foster carers
– as stated above, there might be fewer people who will want to be a foster carer. It seems that now most foster carers are already near the age of retirement, and there are not many younger families who would be willing to take the responsibility. The result could mean that instead of foster carers, the children will instead be placed in residential carers, which may pose risks to the foster children.
The campaign for more payment for foster carers may still happen
– there is a campaign though, spearheaded by Fostering Network where they are proposing that foster carers receive £20,000 a year for payment being a foster carer. Although, it might seem far-off at this point given that there is still economic instability, the fact that it is being proposed may mean a better situation for foster families in the future.
This is a collaborative post