There are presently around 62,000 children in foster care in the UK, and that number is significantly increasing each year. The age of children in care varies, with two fifths in the 11-13 year old age range. Foster care for teenagers is a priority concern for agencies, but still the search for foster carers for all ages is constant. Here independent foster care agency, Capstone Foster Care provide some thoughts on the skills you might need to become a foster carer.
Becoming a foster parent is one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences anyone can have. Whilst there is no doubting that becoming a foster parent is hard work, the rewards make it worthwhile. Not only is it gratifying for the carer that they can provide their foster child with so much, but it helps a vulnerable child or young person by nurturing them, building their self-confidence and offering them a loving home.
Probably the most important quality in being a successful foster parent is the right attitude. Genuine concern for the welfare of these vulnerable children is paramount. You don’t need bundles of experience and parenting know-how to become a foster parent. Deciding to become a foster carer is a life changing decision and although there is a lot to consider, carers should know that they will receive constant support from local authorities and agencies. This will come in the form of support packages, training courses and meetings with social workers, each of which will help carers prepare for what is no doubt a demanding responsibility.
Whilst it does not matter what age, race or sexual orientation a person is nor whether they own a home, it is important that a foster carer has the personal qualities needed to become a mother or father. In order to ensure that a child receives the best possible care, a foster carer must provide a safe, caring and supportive environment to the foster child or baby. Potential foster cares homes and family lives are assessed in this regard within the foster application process .
Although it can help to have previous foster care experience, it is not essential. What is important is that carers should be patient, committed and understanding to the cause. It is often the case that foster children have come from a troubled background and for this reasoncarers should be able to cope with high levels of stress whilst showing patience to the child’s behaviour.
Ultimately, it is essential that a carer be able to offer their foster child a supportive, welcoming and understanding home. Foster carers come from all walks of life, some already have families and some do not, what is important is being able to value the child or young person a foundation from which to build upon.
About the Author
This article was provided on behalf of the independent foster care agency, Capstone Foster Care. Find out more about becoming a foster parent at their website capstonefostercare.co.uk.
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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