The Daily Mail relates the touching stories of seven couples, who, in their fifties and sixties are fostering children. It also describes how the average age of foster parents in rising:-
In Britain, there are approximately 59,000 children living with 45,000 foster families. A recent report showed that the average age of foster carers is rising significantly, with more becoming ‘empty nest’ foster carers. Some 65 per cent of carers are over 50, with more than a quarter over the age of 60, with even some in their 70s.
In 2000, the average age of a foster mother was 46; now it is 53. For male foster carers, the age had risen from 47 to 54.
The Fostering Network — the leading charity for foster care — says that more younger people need to be encouraged to come forward because of the shorter working life of those nearer the top end of the age scale.
But educational psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen says being older has many benefits.
‘A foster carer has to have a lot of patience and tolerance and I think it’s fair to say that people with a larger amount of life experience are more likely to have developed these qualities,’ she says.
‘With their own families grown up, people in their 50s and 60s can focus fully on the foster child and they have a wealth of life skills to pass on.
‘People in this age group are also often fired up by the idea of giving something back and that altruistic motivation makes them enthusiastic carers.’
It can be a challenging role, some of the children have had a difficult start to life, but the rewards in seeing a child grow are great too.
The video below privides more information of foster caring and its rewards. Fostering People are based in Nottingham and their Ireland office provides foster carers in the Dublin area.
I like this video. Definitely something of an original take on health and safety training.