Fostering is a way of giving a home to a child when that child is in need of one, for however long it may be necessary. Children come into foster care for many reasons and may need to stay for different lengths of time with foster parents. Some children are able to return to their birth families after some time. However, some may stay in foster care until they are adults and able to live independently, while others go on to be adopted.
Foster carers provide a vital service for children in need of a stable, secure and loving home environment when they need it most. Foster carers may not always have a foster child in their home, and may as such have an empty, spare room, from time to time. However they may be called upon when needed to foster, and it is difficult to predict when this may be.
Foster cares are able to do good for a young person in their care and create positive outcomes in that child's life no matter how short their time in care. Children coming into care may have experienced difficulties and traumatic incidents which may cause them to behave differently to children that have not.
Carers have to be empathic and strong minded enough, to understand that a child's behaviour is not a reflection on them, but may be the result of past experiences. Patience may be necessary as a young person may need time to accept their new circumstances and surroundings. A young person in care will also need time to learn to trust new adults in their lives and accept decisions which may be made for their own good, but are not seen as such in their eyes. Carers then must be resilient in their own personality and have strong morals to guide them, which they can pass on to the children in their care.
Carers may not see the impact of their positive actions' effect on a child before they leave that placement, but the hope is that the effect can impact in the future lives of the foster children. A foster carer has a unique opportunity to impact positively on that child's life and possibly change his or her outcome for the better.