Fostering is a valuable profession at whichever stage of life you come to it. Opening your home as a senior to a child in the foster system means you have a wealth of experience and a lifetime of skills to draw upon. These two things alone will come in handy as you move through the motions. Fostering is a role that can be done at any adult age as long as you are physically and mentally able to meet the responsibilities. Read on for four key reasons why fostering in the senior stage of life is a great idea.
You Can Do It Anywhere
When you hit retirement age (or close enough) there is a decrease in the likelihood that you will want to relocate your life for a job. Thankfully, foster care will never ask you to do that because you can do foster care in Glasgow and any other location in the country where there is a need for it. Children need carers in lots of different areas and you could be the difference between them being able to stay close to their school and friends or having to move a hundred miles away.
Acutely Developed Parenting Experience
Coming to fostering later in life, you are bound to have some parenting experience (or experience working with children) in your skill box. Parenting birth children is different from being a foster carer, but you can definitely use the time you spent bringing up your own children or teaching young minds in a different setting to your advantage. As a senior, you will have decades behind you that you can sift through and call upon to implement positive strategies for a foster child in your care.
A Lot of Free Time
The big thing about fostering that people don’t necessarily naturally associate with is that it is a job above all else. This means that as an elderly person, you are more likely to have the time to commit in the way that a foster carer must. Younger adults come to fostering as a career change because it is not advised nor possible to work a full-time role alongside the responsibilities of caring for foster children. Older adults can fall into it more organically because they already have the hours to give.
General Life Experience
General life experience significantly helps the development of any foster carer. There are lots of reasons why this is important.
- Gathering life experience means you are more resilient and confident to deal with a range of circumstances.
- You may have navigated trauma and healed in a personal sense which will naturally increase your ability to empathise and relate.
- You are likely to have a variety of skills from your professional life too that will be applicable to fostering.
- You will have seen more, felt more, and learned more over the course of your life than younger carers which will give you a unique, fine-tuned perspective.
Senior carers are welcomed with open arms, and it is easy to see why. They have a unique set of well-tuned skills and experiences that enhance their suitability and make them brilliant carers too.