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Having a Career Change at 50

Starting a new career in your 50s is the perfect time in a lot of ways. You have the life experience, the vast skill set, and the world knowledge to excel in your chosen area.

There are lots of reasons to begin training as a foster carer at this age because you have so much to offer to a child in need of support. You may have had children of your own that are all grown up, or even still living with you. You might have never explored parenting in any capacity. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have the motivation to live up to everything that this role entails.

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What does being a foster parent mean?

Becoming a foster carer means that you will look after children who have been displaced from their families by the local authority because of a concern regarding their welfare or an inability to meet their needs. You will provide food, shelter, nurture, and whatever they need until they either A) return to their family or B) move into a long-term foster placement (which could be you) or adoption.

Find your local fostering agency

Interested in fostering children in the UK? We train and support foster parents across England and Scotland, and provide positive family experiences to hundreds of children in foster care. All of our offices are rated as 'Outstanding' or 'Good' by Ofsted.

Find your local office by entering your postcode below.

Reasons to foster

So, what are the reasons to foster? There are some compelling points explored below. Whether you come to fostering naturally, or your personal walk of life has brought you back to it, there is a whole range of great answers to the question ‘why should I become a foster carer?’.

Supporting a child in need

Children come into care for a variety of reasons. They could have adverse backgrounds including abuse, addiction, neglect, and other forms of trauma. No child should have to live like that. Your home might just become the thing that they need. If you have the capacity to offer support, fostering is a great channel to put that energy into for all those children that really need it.

Providing a secure and safe environment

The value of a secure and safe base is something that many people take for granted, because why wouldn’t they?

If you’ve always had it, you can’t understand what it was like when you didn’t. There are not enough sentiments to emphasise how key a safe and secure environment is for children. When they don’t have it, they are put on a dangerous path in life. Providing that security is the biggest reason of all to explore fostering.

Contributing to positive journey outcomes

Aside from personal gratification, being the person that builds a positive outcome for a fellow human being is something that can’t be replaced. This is especially true when it is about a child in need. There are millions out there, after all, that need a home and safe space to nurture healthy growth.

When you take on the role of a foster parent, you are an irreplaceable part of that positive journey outcome for the child. You are the difference between them dropping out of school and giving up on their education to having a strong voice willing to advocate on their behalf and help them engage.

Download our Guide to Fostering

Discover everything you need to know about fostering by downloading our brochure.

Why changing careers at 50 is an exciting adventure

An exciting adventure is a phrase more commonly associated with a big trip. However, there are lots of adventures you can set up at home too, and changing career is definitely a big exciting thing. Here’s why.

You’re never too old to learn something new

It’s a bit cliché, but the sentiment stands. Your brain is not finished yet. Learning something new is rewarding on a personal level but also on a wider societal consideration as well. Your place in this world is constantly changing, and it is your right to invest in your learning and growth for as long as you feel capable. Age is just a number in this context!

Finding a new passion

Lots of people reach 50 and feel like they need a spark of joy. This is why rediscovering what makes you feel passionate is of utmost importance. It will boost your mental well-being and your physical health too. Plus, it’s always nice to have something to be excited about and driven about.

Stimulating the mind

People who keep their minds busy are less likely to develop memory and cognitive problems later in life, and nurture positive mental health habits too. Your brain needs looking after, and your mind needs outlets. Changing career can be a big stimulation as you navigate everything that entails.

Staying active in your story

Every life on Earth is different. Your story is yours and no one else's. Though you might influence people and have connections and meaningful impacts, your story is the one being written by you. If you are needing a new chapter, staying active by creating a new path to explore is an amazing feeling.

Why older foster carers have the advantage

That isn’t to say that younger carers don’t know what they’re doing. Young carers can be amazing in this role, but as you age, you naturally learn more, feel more, and develop a broader mind. This is, again, not true of everyone, but there is a general sense of resonance with the sentiment. Whatever you have done in life so far, has brought you to consider fostering (given you’re doing the research). There are a hundred reasons why people generally should foster, but those over 50 have a unique life experience advantage that, perhaps, others do not.

Starting the fostering journey in your 50s opens up so many opportunities. You will be setting foot in a brand new arena filled with rewarding sentiment and real, impactful change in your own front room. The life of a foster carer is sometimes turbulent, and there are plenty of different paths to take, but ultimately the good outweighs the bad. Fostering has a special way of becoming an integral part of who you are.

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