As Australia’s population continues to grow, there are more opportunities than ever to become a foster parent. Children from every region of the country are in need of parenting, guidance, and love. Foster parents provide these things to these disadvantaged children, many of whom are abused, neglected, orphaned, or mistreated by their birth parents.
Besides providing love and guidance to children, foster parents are also responsible for teaching children how to communicate, connect, and listen to adults. Unfortunately, children who have been mistreated or abandoned by their birth parents are usually unable to forge and maintain positive relationships with authority figures.
Not only are foster carers responsible for providing a safe, stable living environment for their adopted child, but they can also help their child improve academically. Many orphans in Australia struggle with literacy and other basic cognitive skills. Foster parenting, then, is a great way to teach children from an emotional standpoint, but also an excellent way to teach kids the academic skills they can carry with them as they grow older.
Change Lives as a Foster Parent
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of adoption is that a foster parent helps positively change a child’s life. The majority of children who are currently live in Australia’s foster care system come from disadvantaged backgrounds or broken families. Similarly, adopting a child from a third world country is another way that foster parents can tangibly improve the standard of living of orphans or foster children.
Different Types of Foster Care Available in Australia
Depending on your needs, there are several different types of foster caring in Australia. More specifically, emergency-based foster care allows for a foster parent to care for a child on an emergency basis. Under an emergency foster care scenario, the foster parent cares for a child for anywhere from 1 day to 1 month.
Another short-term foster care option is respite care. Respite care was designed for children who require parenting or care during the weekends. Foster parents who sign up for respite care will be required to look after their child for 1 or 2 weekends every month.
For foster parents interested in taking a more substantial parenting commitment, experts suggest short-term foster care. Short-term foster parents take care of children for up to 2 years. Naturally, the longest foster care placement scenario is long-term care. Long-term care involves a commitment of more than 2 years for foster parents.
Other Types of Foster Care
One of the main advantages of foster care in Australia is that you can still positively influence a child’s life without having to bring that child into your home. Educators who are interested in helping disadvantaged children can sign up to become a tutor at a learning centre or after school programme.
Out-of-home mentoring programmes, therapy, and family-based care are other examples of intriguing non-traditional foster care options available to Australian citizens.
Requirements for Becoming a Foster Parent
To ensure the safety of both the child and parent, Australia requires that aspiring foster parents meet certain guidelines. For example, foster parents must be at least 20 years of age, attend mandatory parenting training courses, have adequate living space for the child, pass a health check, and be gainfully employed.
Professional Support for Australian Foster Parents
For first-time foster parents, the burden of bringing a neglected child into your home might seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are several Australia-based organisations that provide support to foster parents. Each foster parent will receive training from a licensed foster care professional. These foster care experts know all of the tips and tricks to help make the foster care transition a seamless one for both the child and parents. Other specialists and parenting professionals are made available to foster parents in Australia, too.
Just as importantly, every foster child in Australia is assigned a case worker. When the foster child is placed in a home with a foster carer, this case worker maintains close contact with the parent to ensure that the child is adapting to his or her new home peacefully. A case worker is also familiar with an orphan’s life history and medical records as well.