When we think of how to help children in need, what typically comes to mind is helping through donations such as food, books, clothes, school supplies and other material or financial assistance. All of these things are important, of course, but we tend to forget that there are children who, for various reasons, cannot live with their biological parents and are placed in foster centers in the city that, despite the efforts of caregivers, can still leave them lacking other things that make a comfortable life. Today in this article from ShBarcelona we want to introduce you to a way to help children whose lives have turned around at an early age – temporary foster parenting for children in Barcelona.
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Foster parenting – a selfless option that can change a child’s life
For some people, life is especially complicated and different events and circumstances prevent parents from being able to take care of their children, such as difficulties reconciling with family and work life, health problems or occasionally legal problems. All these things and more may cause children to fall under the guardianship of Social Services, who intervene to make sure children are not living in a state of neglect. Different departments of social workers and psychologists evaluate the needs of the child and consider possible solutions for them. In extreme and drastic circumstances, where a child’s need for help or care is immediate, these services will try to avoid integrating a child into an orphanage for adoption or foster care, since it could be counterproductive for the child. So, they may request an alternative to an adoptive parent figure – someone who can watch over the child in a loving and safe home environment.
Foster homes have been an option for many years in the Ciudad Condal, but there are less volunteers willing to take in a child compared with those who want to actually adopt children in the city. In the case of foster care cases the children are different ages and need care temporarily rather than permanently, whereas with adoption these types of adoption resources are generally covered by young couples who want to definitively adopt young children. Therefore, providing foster care, along with being greatly needed, is in many ways one of the most supportive and altruistic things someone can do for a child – those who take on this service are not looking to fulfill their need to be parents (in fact, many foster parents already have children) but to simply help children in a difficult situation where, for the moment, they cannot be looked after by their own parents.
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There are many ways to become a foster parent. According to the needs of the child, you can watch over them for only certain hours of the day, during the weekends, or potentially every day for a maximum of six months. Becoming a foster parent isn’t for everyone, either through personal preference or simply because it’s not possible with work and other commitments, and there is a fairly rigorous admission process to make sure that those who wish to participate fulfill the requirements and can guarantee the safety of the child. Those who participate should be conscious of the fact that the housing is temporary and that the main priority is always the wellbeing of the child, and to maintain a normal and stable environment as long as the situation permits. If you wish to learn more about foster parenting in Barcelona or Catalonia, you can look at information and resources on the Government of Catalonia website.
What do you think of foster parenting? Are you considering becoming a foster parent in order to help a child in need?
About the author
American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.