FF Blog 11: Thinking of Fostering? Here’s What You Need to Know
Many people would potentially make great Foster Carers. However, there are often concerns such as like “Do I have time to be a Foster Carer?” or “What could I offer a foster child?”
Those are important questions to ask as raising a child or young person who may have suffered in some way is different than raising a birth child. But most people aren’t quite sure what those differences are.
There are many different kinds of fostering. At The Fostering Team, our innovative Therapeutic Fostering model is positioned on having a team around the child to identify what their needs are so that Social Workers, Therapists and Foster Carers can work together to achieve positive outcomes for the foster child.
Fostering can be extremely rewarding and life changing, but at times is can also be very challenging. It’s important to know this from the outset so you are prepared for everything that fostering throws at you. Giving a child or young person a safe home and taking care of their practical and emotional needs can be one of the most gratifying decisions you may ever make.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an extra strain on the lives of children and young people who are already living in challenging and difficult circumstances, so providing them, and their families, with a stable and supportive environment during this uncertain period in their lives is vital.
People from all sorts of backgrounds can apply to become a Foster Carer regardless of their gender, sexual orientation and nationality, or whether they are married, single, or in a civil partnership. As long as you have a spare room, you can own your own home or rent, have your own birth children or have no children of your own. Being a Foster Carer is a full-time career so a strong desire to look after children or young people is what’s needed.
When people apply to foster with The Fostering Team, the initial enquiry is an opportunity to find out if fostering is right for them. The application process provides all of the answers to people’s questions, enabling an opportunity to find out more about people’s motivations to become a Foster Carer.
Some really helpful insight to assist people like you who are thinking about fostering as a career to decide to progress with your application to foster is to seek Foster Carers advice, so they can offer some guidance from people who are already making a success of fostering, for people thinking about fostering.
At The Fostering Team we are lucky to have many outstanding Foster Carers who have provided some thoughtful advice:
“It’s quite possibly the best decision we ever made. Being Foster Carers means we accomplish incredible things every day.”
“Be prepared to open your home for children and young people and treating them like they are your very own, it makes us immensely proud and is very gratifying.”
“It makes you a lot more understanding of children and young people and gives you more appreciation of life and of the little things we all take for granted.”
“It’s absolutely challenging, yes, there’s no question about that, but those challenges are made easier by the excellent support systems that The Fostering Team provide.”
“It’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. We have never looked back and questioned anything. We just look forward and do our very best for each child or young person that we have the privilege to foster.”
Fostering with The Fostering Team will develop the range of parenting skills and qualities that foster applicants have so that they can play a crucial part in the recovery of hurt and traumatised children and young people. If applicants can bring resilience and an ability to empathise with others and reflect on their own actions, The Fostering Team can work with those raw materials to cultivate therapeutic Foster Carers.
The best advice for Foster Carers to have is to be inquisitive. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to speak your mind when going through the application process. Talking to other Foster Carers also helps people as quite often, many other Foster Carers have experienced similar or the same issues and challenges. The Fostering Team has excellent support networks in place to help Foster Carers through difficult or challenging times.
Each foster family has a different story and a different reason they began fostering. Most Foster Carers say the same thing; they’re grateful they took the leap because the risk far outweighs the reward and they wouldn’t change any of it for the world – they have loved every bit of it.
If you would like to learn more, you can start your journey and find out more about what being a Foster Carer with The Fostering Team involves.
Check out our latest radio appearance where our Registered