Becoming a foster parent is a life-changing opportunity for both you and the children you take into your home. Most importantly, though, this type of care can break the cycle of poverty, meaning you’re helping people for generations to come.
With the number of children in foster care continuing to climb, there’s more need than ever for foster parents. Statistics from 2016 show there were 437,000 kids in the United States foster care system. That figure is up from the 427,400 reported the year before.
There are many reasons to take on the important task becoming a foster parent, particularly when it comes to helping older children in the system. More importantly, though, you’re keeping our youth off the streets and providing them with the support they need to succeed.
Older children need your help
Finding homes for older children grows increasingly challenging every year, largely because most parents gravitate toward younger ages. Because of this, sadly, many teenagers within the foster system are difficult to place.
In Michigan, Holy Cross Services offers a range of support for foster children who do not have a home. Children receive various levels of support until they are 21, but the care does not compare to someone living with a family.
A safe, stable home
The nurturing home you provide means the world to a child in the foster care system. Many have experienced poverty and other forms of neglect. These children can succeed just like any other person, but they need the support systems in place in order to do so.
Foster homes are the best opportunity for children to learn the benefits of a safe and stable home. In these situations, children can see the importance of having regular meals, they can discuss the possibilities of graduating high school and going off to college. With the right education, people have proven to make more money and raise healthy families themselves.
Experience or not, you’re needed
Having your own children is definitely not a prerequisite for becoming a foster parent, but your experience sure helps. Many parents turn their attention to the foster care system once their own children are old and getting ready to move on from the family household.
Being an experienced parent allows moms and dads to help in situations where children are struggling with past issues, such as abuse or neglect. In contrast to experienced parents, many people turn to foster care instead of having their own children. These people have the time and resources to focus on the needs of the child. No matter the situation, though, there are plenty of supports for parents at places like Holy Cross Services.
Helping children reach their potential is an extremely rewarding experience. Providing a safe, stable environment allows children to explore education, relationships and their community in the healthiest of ways.
Giving our youth the confidence they need to succeed in the classroom, at home and in the workplace is one of the most valuable gifts we can give. Foster parents have been doing this for years. Given the constant increase in the number of children in the system, more residents need to come forward and become the leaders our communities so desperately need.