There are many reasons why people decide to become foster carers and a number of international studies have been carried out to find out more about peoples motivation. Some of the main reasons are altruistic one, many expressing that they “love children”.
Some of the other motivations to foster include extending their family and wanting a foster child to be a part of their family, giving back to the community, their own personal history where they were also in care when they were younger and wanting to be home based and working from home.
In a survey in 2012 (Peake and Townsend, p10) found that the top five reasons for wanting to foster were:
- Opportunity for children to be part of the family (86%)
- Good thing for them or their family to do (77%)
- Wanting to work with children (69%)
- Own past experiences including having been fostered or had parents who fostered (36%)
- Partner wanted to do it (58% of men, 30% of women).
Although Amy Ramirez, a Curriculum Development Assistant at the Family and Children’s Resource Programme at the UNC-CH School of Social Work, argued that although motivation to foster may appear clearly good or bad, this is rarely as straightforward as it seems. Motivation has to be explored as part of the assessment process. However strong foster carers are those that, never stop learning, know and do not go beyond their own limits, expect to be informed foster carers, contribute to sound planning, seek and expect help from the agency when problems arise and know when enough is enough (http://fosteringperspectives.org).
Many people who eventually make the first step have researched fostering and have a basic understanding of fostering and what foster carers do. If you would like to find out more why not contact us on 01582 218 228 and one of our friendly recruitment team will be happy to talk to you.