We often get asked whether someone can foster if they have pets, so we thought we’d ask a few of our carers about the positives and negatives about pets and fostering children.
For many children in care, the presence of animals can make all the difference to how quickly and how well they settle into their foster family. From chickens to rabbits, horses, cats and dogs, animals can be a source of companionship, comfort and fun for children, who can often find it difficult to trust humans.
At Fostering Hearts, we have seen first-hand the positive impact that caring for animals can have on a child in care. We spoke to some of our foster carers and foster children to find out why they believe animals can be so beneficial.
“Animals are a great source of unconditional love and companionship for children in care. They provide an understanding and non-judgemental presence that can really help children to feel secure and at home in their foster family.”
Karen, foster carer
For many children in care, animals can provide a bridge between them and their foster family. They can be a great source of comfort, helping to build trust and a sense of stability.
“My foster daughter was very shy when she arrived. She didn’t talk much, and she was very nervous around people. But when we got a rabbit, she was so happy! She would spend hours playing with it and talking to it. I could see it was helping her to relax and feel more at home.”
Cheryl, foster carer
Animals can also be a great way to get children to engage in activities, as well as teaching them important life skills such as responsibility and empathy.
“My foster son was very withdrawn and had no interest in doing activities. But when we got some chickens, it totally changed him! He was so excited, and he was always wanting to go out and check on them and help look after them. It gave him something to focus on and be proud of, which really boosted his self-esteem.”
Janet, foster carer
For many children, animals can also be a great source of comfort. From horses to cats and dogs, animals can provide a sense of safety and security for children who may have experienced trauma.
“My foster son was very anxious and had difficulty sleeping. But when we got a dog, it changed everything. He was so excited and would spend hours playing with him and cuddling him. It was like he had found a companion who he could trust and confide in. I could see the difference it made to him.”
Ben, foster carer
As well as being a source of comfort, animals can also be a great source of joy and fun. From chickens to rabbits and horses, animals can bring a sense of fun and adventure into a child’s life.
“I loved having animals around when I was in care. It was like having a best friend who was always there for me. I would play with the chickens, help look after the rabbits and go for rides on the horses. It made me feel like I was part of a family.”
Hannah, foster child
At the Fostering Hearts, we understand the importance of animals in a foster home. We believe that animals can be a great source of comfort, security and joy for children in care, and can make all the difference in helping them to settle in and feel at home.
Fostering with pets is not only beneficial for the foster child, but can also be a great way to bring a foster family together. Having animals in the home can be a great way to encourage children to get involved in activities and help out around the house.
“Having animals in the home was a great way for my foster children to get involved in looking after the house and developing skills. We had rabbits, chickens, and a few cats and dogs. The children were always so excited to help out with feeding, cleaning, and playing with the animals. It helped them to learn how to be responsible and understand how to care for others.”
Emma, foster carer
Having animals in the home can also be a great way for foster children to build relationships with their foster family. Animals can be a great way to break the ice and encourage conversations, as well as providing a great source of comfort and companionship.
“My foster children absolutely loved having animals around the house. We had a few cats, a few dogs, and even a few chickens. It was amazing to see how quickly the children bonded with the animals and how it brought us all together as a family.”
Amanda, foster carer
At the Fostering Hearts, we understand the importance of animals in a foster home and the difference that having pets can make for a foster child. From cats to chickens and rabbits, animals can be a great source of comfort, companionship and joy, helping to create a sense of security and stability in a foster family.
“Having animals in the home gave my foster children a sense of security and comfort. They knew that they could rely on the animals to be there for them no matter what, and they took great comfort in that. It gave them the opportunity to open up and form relationships with people that they might not have been able to otherwise.”
Jodie, foster carer The presence of animals in a foster home can truly make all the difference for a foster child. They can provide a sense of comfort and security, as well as a great source of companionship and fun. We believe that animals should be embraced as part of a foster family, and that they can play an important role in helping foster children to settle in and feel at home