May is National Foster Care Month — if you’re not sure what it means, we can help. Here’s why National Foster Care Month is important.
The Benefits of Foster Care: Why It’s Important for Kids and Teens
Many of us may know what foster care is, but may not understand why foster care is important. Learn more in our latest blog post.
Foster care supports children and teens worldwide — but it can seem unclear how foster services work for kids in care. In this post, we’ll answer these questions:
- Why is foster care important?
- What are the benefits of foster care?
- What help does it provide for children and teens in need?
Why is Foster Care Important?
Foster care touches the lives of so many children in need. In 2021, there were over 390,000 children in care.
Kids and teens may need the support of foster care for a variety of reasons. Some examples include:
- The need for a safe and clean environment - A clean, safe home with plenty of nutritious food is important for healthy, happy futures.
- Care after the passing of a loved one - When a child loses their parents, family members and foster parents may step in to provide the care a child needs.
- The need for behavioral nurturing - Some children in care are living with trauma and benefit from additional support. Therapeutic foster care can provide kids in care with room to heal.
- A voluntary change in care - Some parents may decide they need help to provide the love and care children and teens need. They may turn to foster care for support.
The Benefits of Foster Care
There are many benefits of foster care for children in need. Here are six of the biggest ones.
One of the biggest benefits of foster care is the stability it provides to children.
- Children may enter foster care because of an unstable home environment.
- Foster care offers a safe and secure place where kids in care can find stability, consistency, and routine.
For children living with trauma, trust can be hard to rebuild.
- Foster care allows children to rebuild trust in adults and the world around them in a safe space.
- Foster parents help children learn how to trust others through love, empathy, and consistency.
- This trust-building process is important for a child's healing and future relationships.
Foster care services may also help kids in care when it comes to school.
- Foster parents work closely with teachers, schools, and other professionals to make sure that a child’s academic needs are met.
- They provide a stable environment for studying, encourage educational pursuits, and fight for a child's educational rights.
- Foster care services can help set children on a path to academic success and give them the tools for a brighter future.
Building Social Skills
Living in a foster family can help develop essential social skills.
Spending time with siblings in foster care, joining in on family activities, and trying new things all help children learn how to communicate, share, and work together. Social skills picked up during foster care can help support long-term self-confidence.
Growing Emotional Skills
Foster care can help children and teens learn how to handle their emotions in a healthy way.
- Foster parents provide a loving and supportive place where children can express their emotions safely.
- They help children develop emotional strength, coping methods, and positive thinking.
- With love and guidance, foster parents help children in care to heal from past trauma and develop their sense of self-worth.
Providing a Loving Home
There are many foster care benefits — and a loving home is one of the biggest.
- Foster parents do much more than meet basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.
- They provide the emotional support and love that every child in care needs to thrive.
- The stable and nurturing environment of a foster home can help children living with trauma to heal and grow.
Why Foster Care is Important for Teens
Did you know that up to 36% of children in foster care are 11 years or older?
Most of the time, when we think of foster care, we picture young children — the truth is that there are many teens in foster care.
- Teens may also be living with trauma from abuse or neglect just like younger children.
- This can make it harder for teens in care to form healthy bonds. Teens in care may need special support and care.
- Some individuals may have found their own ways to cope with feelings like anger or sadness that take time to unlearn.
Foster parents for teens in care should be ready to listen and provide support. This may also mean visiting with a therapist or counselor.
It’s not all challenges, though — fostering teens is a fulfilling act.
Sevita’s Companies Provide Foster Care Services for Children and Teens
From young children to teens, every child deserves a chance at a fulfilling future. Sevita’s companies help foster parents create a nurturing place for kids in care to grow and thrive.
Learn more about how Sevita’s companies provide support for children, families, and communities.