Great foster parents come from all walks of life. Age, marital status, sexuality, job and background aren’t important. What matters is that you have the strengths and qualities to make a real difference to a child’s life. To help you decide if you’ve got what it takes to be a foster carer, here are our Top 10 Foster Carer Qualities:
You don’t need to have children of you own. But you do need experience in looking after or working with children and a genuine commitment to helping children change their lives for the better.
Helping a child to reach their full potential is amazingly rewarding. But it can also be incredibly challenging and frustrating at times. You will need to be resilient and determined to see things through. A good sense of humour helps too!
As a foster carer you will need to provide a warm, caring and supportive environment where children feel welcome and safe. You will also need to be able to work openly and honestly with agencies and professionals, from the start of your assessment and throughout your fostering career.
Foster carers work as part of a team to support a child. You will need to be able to listen and communicate effectively, accept advice and support and work to agreed plans.
Foster carers need to develop their childcare knowledge and skills to help them provide the best possible care for children. You will need to be open to learning and expected to attend regular training and support groups and use professional supervision to reflect on and discuss your approach to a child’s care.
You don’t need to have a big house, but foster children must have their own room.
Fostering is a demanding and difficult job. As well as the support we will give you, it’s important that you have emotional and practical support available from those around you.
Foster carers have to be very flexible. You will need to be able to adapt your lifestyle, routines and commitments to meet the needs of children.
Foster carers are professional. They attend meetings, complete reports and make sure there is a written record of all the important things that happen in the lives of the children they are caring for.
You will need to be able to see things from a child’s perspective. You will need to understand and work with the behaviours they may display, and provide stable and consistent care for children who may not have experience this before.