what impact does foster care have on young people?
Care experienced young people are often labelled with many harmful stereotypes within society, all of which are prejudiced and harmful.
What many of us have not considered, is that being characterized as ‘less than, ‘badly behaved’, or a ‘failure’ simply because of circumstances completely out of our control, can often begin to make us feel that we are this way regardless of what we do.
As a society, we need to look at the foster care system and how it can better support the young people within, instead of what we believe that it will produce.
For many of us that have never been in foster care, it is important to remember that the inconsistency can often make it hard for young people to form positive and engaging relationships, therefore focusing on care experienced role models with positive stories could be greatly beneficial to the young people within the system.
One factor still rings true: foster care has the potential to provide categorically positive results, and often restore love, compassion, values, and hope in care experienced young people.
Here are a few ways foster care can make an impact in the lives of young people.
foster care restores faith
For those that have been through the system and spat out at the other end, a great foster care experience can often turn it around entirely and put them back on the right track.
Showing them the truth about foster care and how it should look can often renew the faith in those that have been beaten and broken down by systematic neglect.
It can also inspire those who have been through those systems to move on and help reflect a positive light on the systems and structures that great foster carers have in place.
An example of this is me.
I was once a child who went through the care system and was destined to a life of statistical failure but through the kindness of others and a positive experience, I’ve been able to go on and share these experiences with others.
placing positive role models
For most young adults and children within the care system, the idea of a role model is primarily absent. Role models are important as they establish an early-stage imprint on young people as a guideline to what mental wellbeing and success may look like.
Without a role model, young people can be easily swayed to go down the wrong route.
A lot of young people I’ve previously worked with tend to latch on to bad role models as they believe this is the right path to take. Establishing a positive role model in a young person’s life is so incredibly impactful as this can steer them down the correct path and give them a foothold as to where they want to be.
Positive role models can also inspire and instill into young people the importance of certain factors in life such as education, career choices, and even re-point their moral compass in some aspects.
gaining life skills
Foster caring can provide a helping hand and can help provide access to employability programs, education as well as extracurricular hobbies that might’ve previously been absent in a young person’s life.
This can ultimately help them build essential life skills so they can one day stand on their own two feet. Things like opening bank accounts, writing their first CV as well as enrolling into colleges and universities can often be a little over-facing especially if you don’t know where to start.
The idea of having a foster carer on hand to be able to help and guide young people through these tasks can have a huge impact on the progression of young people in the foster care system.
So here are a few of the core skills that can be developed through the assistance of foster care systems. I was once a product of the care system and with foster caring, I was able to positively develop some crucial life skills that have ultimately helped me to go on and provide the same assistance to those who are in the same position I was.
I provide a range of services from training to foster carers, motivational and keynote speaking as well as other mentoring and wellbeing services.
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