Why foster with F5?
Children are placed with F5 Foster Carers from several different Local Authorities around the Midlands and every one of their stories is unique as are they. The children and young people have a range of different backgrounds and histories. Some will have seen or been the victim of abuse. Some will have suffered neglect. Some will have assumed the role of the ‘adult’ in the home, caring for a parent or younger siblings. All will need to be given the opportunity to reclaim their childhood and know the safety, dependability and consistency a foster carer offers. It may seem the easier option, but we know fostering children can be just as demanding as fostering teenagers. They may be smaller, but they can be every bit as puzzling; so, we’ll be by your side, supporting you to help them experience the joys of childhood.
Of raising your own children or looking after other people’s children. Experience can be gained through your careers, through youth work, volunteering or in any child care setting.
A sense of humour
And the ability to laugh at yourself, enabling you to put events and challenges into proportion – because children can make you laugh and cry!!!!
All children need stability. It frees up their minds and allows them to learn and grow. Living with you may be their first experience of a stable home life, so it’s vital that you support them at school and at home.
They’re young, they’ll have an abundance of energy and you’ll need to keep up with them!
We believe that fostering is a team effort and provide lots of support, training and development for our Foster Carers.
We have unique links with the Pathway group which provides education and skills training for older teenagers and young adults which we can access as well as offering bespoke support packages through Nationwide Care Services.
Patience, tolerance and understanding
You’ll need an abundance of this, not because the children are being deliberately difficult, but because they need to learn so much in a short space of time. They need to learn about you, the way your home works, meet lots of new people and change schools. Like all children, they will have ‘meltdowns’, they will argue with you and get cross with you, but it’s important to remember the turbulence in their lives. We’ll always be there, should you need advice or just to let off steam!
A practical approach
At times, you’ll need to stand your ground! All children, particularly those who’ve come to you from a dysfunctional home, will test you! At times their behaviour could put them or others at risk, so you’ll need to be prepared to be firm but fair and, if you wish, seek advice from your F5 supervising social worker.
It can be difficult to understand and share the experiences children bring with them when they arrive in a foster carer’s home. Sometimes, as they settle in and begin to trust you, they will start to talk about things that have happened to them and share their feelings with you, but also can be really closed and find it difficult to share. Your experience of raising your own children or caring for other people’s children, along with our comprehensive training and the backing from everyone at F5 will give you the security and reassurance essential to making positive and successful outcomes for the children in your care and for you.