How foster care can positively affect the children already in the house

A foster parent can provide countless benefits to the children they foster, but those benefits also extend to the other (biological) children in the house.

While bringing in a new family member certainly creates a period of transition, it also comes with the opportunity to complement and enhance your children’s lives.

Here are some other ways foster care can benefit your children:

  • They will learn the importance of giving back. You are showing your children how one person can make a difference in the lives of others. By seeing this, they will understand how they can support those in need and help others. It will also open their eyes to the needs of their own community.
  • They will learn compassion. By welcoming a new family member into the house, and learning their story, your kids will better understand the needs and trials of others.
  • They will learn how to share. They probably already know this one, but adding a new person to the house can create new opportunities to build on these skills and better learn to “play well with others.”
  • They will learn to model good behavior. If you have a set standard of rules and expectations in your house, your children will be able to act as a guide for the new foster child. This will allow them to be proud of their good behaviors, and encourage the foster child to follow suit.
  • They will learn there is enough love to go around. Love is infinite, and your children will see that they are capable of bonding and loving new people, and that you are able to love others without it detracting from your love of them.
  • They will become adaptable. Changes and additions to the family bring chances to learn how to roll with the punches, and see the positives in each new opportunity.
  • Your family will develop an even stronger bond. You’re all in this process and experience together, and your team will grow stronger because of it.
  • They will learn about saying goodbye. Although goodbyes are hard, this is not necessarily a negative. As fostering is not (always) permanent, when the child leaves the house, your child will have the opportunity to learn how to say goodbye, yet still love. They will be able to learn about grief and coping, lessons that are important for life.

Inevitably, fostering will impact your family. At an up-close-and-personal level, your children will be able to experience and develop their skills for empathy and understanding. They will learn that they are part of the foster process, too, playing a critical part in creating a welcoming and loving environment for the foster child.