In the past, foster care was viewed as a simple act of charity. Over time, this thinking has changed. The commitment of foster carers and foster agencies has reformed the industry. With the much-improved fostering placement system we have today, foster caring is now treated as a highly specialised and demanding role in the childcare workforce. With the responsibility it entails, should foster caring be considered a job or a vocation?

To be considered as a foster carer, one must be knowledgeable and fully equipped with a range of skills. Fostering these days involves writing reports to document the child’s progress, as well as attending meetings with other professionals to ensure that the child’s needs are being met. Foster carers have access to high quality training and an allowance that covers the expenses of caring for a child in the carer’s home, with an additional fee which reflects the skills of the foster carer.

But, whilst these traits may make fostering look remarkably like any other “career”, fostering requires a unique level of pure dedication that sets it aside from a traditional “job”. Foster carers must have wonderful parenting skills, patience and passion to do a great job. Their motivation should include championing children’s rights and helping the young people they care for prepare for the life ahead of them.

So, despite the requirement that foster carers should display certain qualities, like any other job specification, the selfless nature of the “work” elevates its status above a simple “career”.

One thing is certain, the foundations of fostering will always remain rooted in its vision to provide a safe and nurturing environment to children and young people who need love, stability and acceptance.

If you want to feel rewarded whilst making a lasting difference to a child’s life, we would be happy to talk with you about how you can join us as a foster carer with AFA Fostering. You are welcome to arrange a visit to one of our offices to find out more: AFA Fostering Anglia, 12 Meridian Way, Meridian Business Park, Norwich, NR7 0TA or at AFA Fostering Midlands, The Millhouse Business Centre, Station Road, Castle Donington, DE74 2NJ.