If you are considering getting involved as a foster parent, you are to be commended. It takes courage and caring to get involved in foster parenting; however, before you get involved, you need to be sure that you have explored every aspect of this big step in your life. There are both pros and cons to foster parenting, and while the pros usually outweigh the cons, it is best to take a close look at both sides before you commit yourself.
A Look at the Pros
There are many pros to foster parenting that can be enjoyed by the parents and the children alike. The following are a few pros to keep in mind when you are making your decision as to whether or not you want to become a foster parent.
Pro #1 – Helping Others – One of the biggest positive aspects of being a foster parent is that you have the ability to help others. You will be providing a home for children that have no where else to go, and in doing so you’ll be helping families and entire communities with your service. However, it is important that you focus on the pros of actually helping out the children. They may have come from abusive homes or they may have lost their parents, and in either case they are going to need love. You have the opportunity to provide them with a home, the things they need, and most importantly – love.
Pro #2 – Monetary Compensation – Another pro of becoming a foster parent is monetary compensation. While the money should never be the reason that you become a foster parent, it does help out along the way. Some families would love to become foster parents, but they just don’t have the resources. However, the compensation they receive can make it possible for them to open up their home to a child that needs foster care.
Pro #3 – You’ll Have Help Along the Way – When you become a foster parent, you won’t have to worry about being on your own once the kids are dropped off at your door. You will have a variety of different resources available to you that will help you out along the way. There is education offered to foster parents to help them out when dealing with foster children and support is offered all along the way as well. So, you are not just out there hanging on your own, but there is a lot of support and help offered to you as you get used to being a new foster parent.
Pro #4 – Bonding with Foster Children – Families that take in foster children also have the opportunity to form a strong bond with the children that are in their care. This is not only beneficial to the children, but to the foster parents as well. Many foster parents build strong bonds with the foster children they have that lasts a lifetime, and this is indeed a huge benefit and blessing.
Words of Caution
Although the pros of foster parenting are many, it is important that you have a balanced view of foster parenting before you get started. As with anything, where there are pros, there are also going to be a few cons as well. Before you make the final decision of whether or not you should become a foster parent, you need to take the time to take a close look at the problems that can occur and decide if the pros outweigh the cons for you.
Caution #1 – Emotional Pain of Separation – One of the first cautions that you need to keep in mind when considering foster parenting is the emotional pain of separation. Statistics show that just about 50% of children in the foster care program end up being united with their families. This means that you may have to give up your foster children, even after a strong emotional bond has been developed. It can be painful and difficult to let those children go, and before you become a foster parent you need to be sure that you can deal with this.
Caution #2 – You’ll Be Spending Money – Sure, there is some financial compensation offered to you when you become a foster parent, but don’t think that this compensation will cover all the costs of having a foster child in your home. You will have to spend quite a bit of money yourself, which can be a financial strain. So, be sure you are ready for the financial impact having a foster child is sure to bring.
As you can see, there are both pros and cons for you to consider. So, before you decide to be a foster parent, weight these pros and cons carefully. More than likely you’ll find that the pros far outweigh the cons, but it is important that you are aware of both sides before getting involved.
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