Don't Want to Retire - Foster
If you find yourself nearing retirement age and pondering whether to continue working, consider these compelling reasons why welcoming a child into your life might be the perfect choice for you.
Are you approaching retirement age and you’re not sure that you want to stop working and live a quiet life? Maybe you want to spend your retirement doing something meaningful but aren’t looking to continue working. If this sounds like you, then you might want to consider fostering a child, or fostering siblings. There are currently thousands of children in foster care around the UK in need of a loving and safe home, and a shortage of foster parents in some areas of the UK.
Becoming a foster parent is something that you can do at any age. If you are set to retire from your job, then you could make an excellent foster parent. Being retired means that you have more time to dedicate to your foster child and providing them with the secure environment and stable upbringing that they need.
Retired people also make excellent foster parents as in many cases, they are more stable. As you approach retirement you may own a home outright or almost outright, have adult children who you can turn to for support with your fostering journey, and money in savings, which can make the process easier.
You will also be provided with financial support when fostering as a retired person. You can continue working for as long as you like past state pension age as a foster parent. You will be required to make tax returns, but there is no tax to pay on your fostering allowance.
Why Foster a Child After Retirement?
Many people decide to become foster parents after retirement as they don’t want to completely stop working. Work is a huge part of the human experience, no matter what your previous career has been. Suddenly stopping working and being left with a lot of free time can take a lot of getting used to, and many people who are retired find themselves looking for something meaningful to do like foster caring or volunteering.
Why Do Something Rewarding After You Retire?
People will often have different ideas when it comes to the kind of things that they might like to do after they retire. You have worked hard throughout your life and saved up a pension to be able to enjoy these years, but there’s no need to travel the world to enjoy them and make them count. Many people enjoy doing meaningful, satisfying, and rewarding things after they retire, giving them a chance to help build better futures for people and draw from their life experiences so far to give back to the community.
After retirement, fostering is a unique way to spend your time, allowing you to transform the lives of children who may be vulnerable and have not always had the best start in life. At the moment, there are around thirty thousand children who enter the care system in the UK on an annual basis, coupled with a national shortage of foster parents and families. Vulnerable children are more in need than ever before of safe and loving homes due to a significant increase in referrals after the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the Benefits of Using Your Retirement to Foster a Child?
There is no upper age limit on becoming a foster parent in the UK, and there are many benefits of fostering after retirement that you may want to consider if you’re wondering what to do now that you no longer have to go to work.
You’ve Got the Time to Devote to the Child
While fostering a child while working full-time is possible if your job is flexible enough to allow you to put your foster child first and ensure that you can attend all the appointments that come with the territory, being retired means that you don’t have to go to work, so you have more time to invest in caring for your foster child and helping them develop into an independent, strong young person. Even if you are only fostering on a short-term basis and the child only spends a few weeks with you, a good foster parent that has plenty of time to dedicate to a child in need can make a huge impact in a short time.
You Can Share Your Life Experience
If you are reaching an age where retirement is not very far away, or you have already stopped working and are retired, chances are that at this point, you will have a lot of life experience that you can use to support a young person and help them build a better life for themselves. By now, you will be in a position to share the things that you have learned throughout your life with a child or young person to help them get a different perspective and learn something that you might have wished you knew when you were there age.
Your Home Will Be Full of Activity
If the idea of retiring and spending all day in a quiet home is unappealing to you, then fostering a child will definitely bring a lot of activity to your home with it. As a foster parent, there are not going to be two days that are the same, and there’s plenty going on to keep yourself busy and active. It’s all part of helping children in foster care heal from their past, grow as a person, and find themselves in the safe and secure home that you provide for them.
Learn Something New
No two days are going to be the same when you are a foster parent, so as long as you are fostering, you are always going to be learning something new. Whether you are learning how to better deal with challenging behaviour in children or are learning about certain disabilities to be a better foster parent for a child with these disabilities, you can spend your retirement growing as a person and bettering yourself both personally and professionally. There is always going to be something new and interesting to learn.
You Have a Support Network
Many retired people will already have an established support network of people around them who they can turn to when they need help, advice, or practical support with fostering. At this age, you might already have adult children who may even now have children of their own, allowing you to provide any child you foster with a strong, supportive family. When you are retired, many of your friends might also be in the same situation, making it easier for you to find people in your life who you trust, and who have the free time needed to be there for you and your foster child.
A Chance to Give Back
Every child in the world deserves to have somebody in their life who believes in them and fights for them, and this is the job of a foster parent. Although not every young person in care will come from a traumatic background as there are several reasons for why children might be removed from their birth families and placed in foster care, simply being in the care system or living with a foster family that they are not familiar with can be a traumatic experience for young children. Deep down, all that a child in foster care wants and needs is somebody to show them the love and support that they have lacked in their lives so far.
You Will Get All the Support You Need
Whether it’s financial support or the chance to get a break and some me time, when you are a foster parent, you will get all the support that you need to give a foster child a better life. Financial support is available, most foster parents with Fostering People receive over £24,000 for each young person they foster. Foster parents also need breaks from time to time, so you will be able to get a minimum of fourteen nights of respite per year, where your foster child will go to spend time with another foster family to give you a well-deserved rest.
How to Foster When You’re Retired
You can start a journey to becoming a foster parent by enquiring on our website. An experienced member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss the process and go over your options. To become a foster parent, you will need to undertake an assessment, training and preparation prior to becoming a foster parent. Once accepted, you will need to prepare your home for fostering a child. You need to have a spare bedroom for a foster child.
If you have recently retired or are heading towards retirement and want to spend these years doing something satisfying and meaningful with your life, then fostering is well worth considering.