When you decide to start fostering, there is a lot of positive fuel behind that choice. It is not a job you can show up half-interested in, and it does require resilience and ongoing strength for all the best reasons. To be the best version of your foster carer self, there are things that must happen in the background and the foreground to support your familyand ensure you are successful in your role as a foster parent. The guide below has four helpful ways you can be a great foster carer and live out your passion to the best of your ability.
Listen to Your Training
As a foster carer, you will receive a lot of training. Some of it will be initial training to initiate you into the world of fostering. Other courses will be ongoing developmental strategy courses to ensure you are adhering to the most recent guidance and practices and empowered by your support network to be the best carer you can be. Training will cover a range of subject matters including finding resilience with typical behaviours, how to advocate, how to recognise mental health concerns, and how to keep everyone safe. Just like you would with any job, it is important to fully engage with everything on offer.
Be Open with Your Social Worker Team
Private fostering agencies like thefca.co.uk exist to find suitable carers for the vulnerablechildren that come into care. However, they also provide support to carers that embark upon the journey with the foster child. Being open with your social worker team and, specifically, your dedicated assigned social worker will help with the transition in welcoming a new child into your home. You have a voice, and there is no language of ‘failure’ to mitigate. What does need to happen is that, when you need support, you ask for it. Finding something hard? Speak up! Your social worker wants this to work as much as you do, and they will help you find a solution.
Maintain a Sense of Humour
Don’t they always say that laughter is the best medicine? Well, it has never been more true than when helping to heal attachment and trauma wounds. A light environment inundated with safe fun, engagement, and entertaining learning journeys will be the most effective path forward. This role requires patience, sure, but it also requires an open mind that can see things outside of the box. That capacity for humour and fun will bring authentic connection.
Confidence is an accumulative process that fluctuates and is never set in stone. It is situational, mood dependent, and largely dictated by what the day holds and how you move inside of it. Foster carers need a baseline level of confidence to make their role work. You are embarking upon an intense caring role with a child that doesn’t know you, won’t trust you, and will be feeling a thousand different emotions all at once. They will need a strong person who can lead the way before they are able to build their own resilience back up.
Foster carers take on a big role in a wonderful way. They are great, especially if they make active choices to stay involved and build their experience.