One of the reasons that applicants look into fostering is the feeling of their ‘nest being empty. Being a parent is one of the most challenging yet satisfying things a person can do. It is undoubtedly a time for being very active. When your adult children leave home to go to university, get married or have moved out of the area, you can find that your life is not so busy, and perhaps you miss having children and young people around you to connect you to your community. As a parent, you re-live your childhood through your children and experience the world in their eyes for the first time. Often young people who come to be looked after by local authorities might have experienced very different childhoods to your children. They come with their trauma. For some foster carers changing a young person’s life from a path that is not full of promise can be the reward. A carer might help young people achieve things they might not have had the opportunity to accomplish if they had not been with carers. You can be a single carer, a married couple, or a couple in a same-sex relationship, but you might have more to offer than you could imagine.
Another reason for considering fostering is that many want to ‘give something back. They have had success, or not, with their parenting role, and either want to repeat what they have achieved for another young person or want to succeed in achieving differently in the way that they parent in the future. Many existing foster carers will mention their motivation to give something back. The time is right as their children are no longer in the home, and they have plenty of room to welcome in young people.
For some, it’s usually one of the applicants that have thought about fostering for a very long time, but the time was never right, and the time is now suitable for them to do this.
Foster carers informed that this is the most rewarding thing they could do. Whilst it is not all plain sailing, there is a lot of support from training, to support groups, to social workers helping you achieve and keep young people stable and safe. There are some excellent outcomes for young people, having a second chance at a positive life.
As for empty nesters, they are most welcome to apply to be foster carers with Plymouth City Council. We need foster carers and would welcome enquires from you. We can help you to help young people and to put something back into the communities in which you live.