Foster care can be rewarding work for anyone who enjoys looking after children and wishes to have a positive impact on their lives. However, does that mean you will need to change your present lifestyle? This is an important question for all potential applicants to consider, but there is no universal answer to be had here.
Whether a foster carer will need to make any significant changes to their current lifestyle or not depends on the kind of lifestyle they lead right now. On the other hand, if you already have a decent idea of what to expect, you will be able to decide on the need for possible lifestyle changes yourself. With that in mind, here are some of the most important factors to consider.
Changes in Décor and Design
To even apply at a fostering agency, you must have a spare room that’s adequate for a child to safely live in for as much time as needed. A foster child’s room should preferably be redesigned to reflect a décor that most children are likely to find appealing and comforting. That is not a strict requirement, but doing so is still advisable, even if the décor is at odds with the rest of your home.
On the other hand, a foster home cannot have any design or décor elements that might compromise a child’s physical safety or may have a negative impact on a child’s mind. Take for example, foster carers who care for toddlers and small children at their home will need to make functional changes to childproof it.
Changes in Time Allocation and Professional Priorities
Fostering is much more than just another job because it is simultaneously a professional, legal, and moral responsibility too. If you are someone who currently spends a lot of hours every day at work, then you must be ready to make significant adjustments to that routine.
When you choose to become a foster carer, it will be expected of you to prioritize the foster children’s needs and allocate as much time to their care as needed. On the other hand, if you are a stay-at-home parent who already spends a lot of time with his/her kid(s), then your lifestyle is not likely to change much at all.
Changes in Habit
As a foster carer provider, you will provide foster children with a safe, healthy, positive, and friendly family environment while they live in your home. Any bad habit that may compromise their well-being or affect them negatively will need to be changed. For example, a lot of children in foster care come from families with parents who use and abuse various addictive substances.
Therefore, if a foster care provider and/or the people who live with them are quite heavy on drinking and smoking indoors, that lifestyle must be dropped before welcoming a foster child into their home. The last thing that a traumatized child needs is to stay in a foster home where there are people with similar issues as that of their parents. There can be other factors at play too, but the ones mentioned here are by far the most common factors in this context. Depending on who you are and what kind of lifestyle you lead currently, it’s possible that a new foster care provider may actually find some of their new lifestyle changes to be positive changes for their own well-being as well.