What is Foster Care

What is Foster Care?


In a nutshell, Foster Care is offered by individuals or families who provide a temporary home and care for children/young people who are sadly unable to live with their families. There are a vast variety of reasons that children may come into care. Sadly and overwhelmingly this is due to abuse and neglect, however sometimes it is because of a parent’s short-term illness or a temporary problem within the family. Foster care provides these children and young people a safe, nurturing & stable environment for them to be able to develop and thrive.

 

There are different “Types” of foster care that can be provided, some short term, some long term, and you can find out more specific information about that by clicking here.

There is no ‘typical child’ in foster care, each child is individual and has their own needs and experiences. With that in mind, where possible, children who come into care are matched with families that are best suited to meet their needs, this may take in account things such as whether they can be placed with their siblings, what religion they follow, what additional support they may need for emotional, neuro or physical needs. You can find more information about how children are matched with their foster families by clicking here.

 

However, being a foster carer involves so much more than simply providing a home for children who need one. It is about providing a secure, safe, and loving environment in which children and young people are able to thrive and develop. Foster carers provide nurture to ensure the physical, emotional, and general wellbeing of the children and young people they foster, and need to understand how experiences of the children may impact on their view of the world. Sometimes a child may arrive to their foster home feeling that adults are not to be trusted or that they are not worthy of being helped. They will likely arrive scared and sometimes with nothing but the clothes on their back. Their new foster carer needs to be understanding, non-judgemental and resilient, and have the ability to empathise with this, nurturing positive relationships that are built are trust.

An important part of the role of Foster Carer, is working alongside other professionals who are working with the child to provide the best support possible. This could include regular meetings with social services, schools, and other specialists such as therapists, GPs, and psychiatrists in line with the needs of the child in your care. It should be noted that there is also a lot of administration that is involved that varies from daily diary logs through to the completion of monthly progress trackers.

Being a Foster carer is not something that is suited to everyone, aside from the minimum criteria a Carer would need to meet, it takes someone with great empathy, patience and resilience to Foster. However, despite the many unique challenges associated with being a foster carer, the opportunity to make a positive difference to a young person’s life is invaluable. Foster carers have the opportunity to shape a child’s life and make a real and lasting difference. With the right support and guidance, they can go on to achieve great things and lead successful, happy lives.

To speak with us about becoming a Foster Carer or to find out information about the assessment process click here


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