If you are a kind-hearted, giving person who would love nothing more than to really make a difference in the life of somebody else, then becoming a foster parent may be something that you have given some thought to. Fostering a child who has not had the best start in life or has been through adverse or traumatic experiences can be a rewarding yet challenging experience.

Before you decide if this is the right option for you, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your qualities, limitations, and if you will be personally ready for the journey. Some of the main qualities you will need to become a successful and effective foster parent are:

Empathy

Becoming a foster parent involves inviting a child that is not your own into your home and loving them like they were yours. You will need to be prepared to give a stable family life to a child that is a total stranger to you at the beginning and may not always be the most receptive to your efforts. Effective foster parents know that their foster children might not always be the best behaved, or happy to be where they are. After all, their short lives have been turned upside down. In your position, it’s important that you can empathise with the child, understand their point of view, and imagine how it must feel to be in their shoes. If you’re an empathetic person, find out more about fostering in Gloucestershire with fosterplus.co.uk.

Patience

Many foster children come from backgrounds that a lot of people could never imagine living in, let alone being a child in. It might take a while for some foster children to feel safe around you, and some might need professional help before they begin to feel safe at all. It may not always be the idyllic experience that’s often portrayed in photos of foster parents and foster children. You’re going to need a lot of patience and understanding to help your foster child open up, feel safe with you, and start to thrive.

Self-Awareness

A lot of self-awareness and emotional intelligence will help you become a more effective and successful foster parent. In this position, understanding yourself and the impact of the situation on you will help you become a better foster parent and enable you to do what it takes to be there for the child who is depending on you. Somebody who knows their own limitations, understands when they should ask for help and support and is clear when it comes to their boundaries will likely become a stable, secure caregiver for a foster child.

Generosity

Finally, generosity is key to becoming a successful foster parent. The best foster parents shower their foster children with love, stability, and support without asking for anything in return. You need to have a big heart, and an open mind, to become the kind of foster parent who will make a lasting positive impact on a child.

Becoming a foster parent is a selfless move that will change your life and the life of the child you foster. If you have, or are working on improving these qualities, becoming a foster parent might be the best thing you ever do.