Fostering is a personal decision based on many different factors. Unfortunately, there are still many people who think that they are not eligible or able to foster. But as you will see, there are very few barriers to becoming a foster carer.
Are you wondering if you would make a great foster parent? Read on…
Do you enjoy positive relationships?
Firstly, fostering is not the sole premise of families or people who parents are already but this is an important question to that every would-be foster parent needs to consider. What kind of relationships do you enjoy with your partner, your children, stepchildren, your own parents, other family members, friends and colleagues?
Essentially, foster carers are people who are surrounded with positive relationships. In other words, they are a ‘people person’ who value connections and relationships.
What support do you have?
Fostering brings priceless rewards but tough challenges. There are times when there seems to be one crisis after another. Just as you ‘solve’ one issue, there is another that must be dealt with.
Parenting is hard. Which is why as a foster carer, you need plenty of support around you. Who do you turn to when you need to let off steam? What do you do to retain your peace of mind?
Of course, foster care is not something that is done in isolation. You will be surrounded by 24/7 support from the fostering agency but sometimes, it is nice to know your family and friends are there for you too.
Could you say goodbye?
Fostering comes in many shapes and sizes. In other words, not all placements are the same.
Some foster carers offer short-term placements, for example. This can be anything from a few nights of a planned stay or up to two years. This form of placement is also common where children are approved for adoption and are waiting for a match with adoptive parents.
And for a carer offering this type of foster care that means saying goodbye. But this time, the farewell is a positive one, an opportunity for the child which you have cared for to live with their forever family.
But not all foster placements are the same but you do need to consider what you think you can truly offer a child in care.
Are you a team player?
The term ‘team player’ is bandied around in many job adverts and descriptions but with little understanding of what it means.
Fostering doesn’t happen in isolation. As a foster carer, you could liaise and work with many professionals, from counsellors to therapists, to the teachers at you foster child’s school, to social workers and, in some instances, the birth parents and family too.
All come with their own agenda but all with the child’s best interests at heart, but sometimes not.
As a foster carer, you will need to protect and advocate on behalf of your foster child – and do so professionally. You may need to attend frequent meetings and welcome professionals into your home.
Some people can find this intrusive at times because it is your home, where you and your family – your foster child included – should feel safe and secure.
Do you have a spare room? Are you over the age of 21?
If so, you could be the foster carer that a child in care needs and wants. There are very few barriers to becoming a foster carer but it is an important decision. Do your research and talk to fostering agencies about what is really involved.
Active Care Solutions are seeking foster carers but understand the need for potential carers to fully explore the reality of fostering. Contact them for a confidential chat today.