Becoming a Foster Parent – What’s Really Involved?
Are you considering fostering but are unsure what it would involve and what will be expected of you? Will you simply be taking in children and looking after them until they leave, or is there more to it than that?
There’s a lot of information out there but it doesn’t always address the actual role of the foster carer. Here you’ll discover everything you need to know about what’s really involved when you are accepted as a foster parent.
What does the foster parent role involve?
There’s actually a lot more to being a foster parent than you might realise. Before deciding whether or not it’s right for you, it’s really important to fully know what will be expected of you.
As a foster parent you will be responsible for:
- Providing support
- Attending meetings
- Promoting contact with biological parents (if applicable)
- Behaviour management
- Committing both time and energy
- Working as part of a team
Of course, first and foremost you will be supporting the child placed into your home. It’s expected that you’ll do everything you possibly can to ensure the child is safe, well looked after and loved. Your support is vital and can make a real difference to the child in your care. Part of this support includes dealing with potentially challenging behaviour. Some children use challenging behaviours as a coping mechanism for the changes in their lives. It’s important to recognise these behaviours and work with the foster agency to create a plan to manage them.
One thing you might not have been expecting is that you will need to attend meetings and keep written reports. These meetings revolve around the child currently in your care. The information you provide and receive during these meetings is completely confidential and they are required to prepare for the child’s future. The meetings also provide a chance for you to discuss any concerns you may have.
Sometimes you will be required to help maintain contact between a child and their biological parents. It is very important the child is able to stay in contact with their family when possible.
You will never be alone
One of the most common fears people have about becoming a foster parent is that they will be left completely alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a foster parent you’ll become part of a very important and dedicated team. This includes social workers, counsellors, the child’s family, healthcare workers, and even designated teachers. Therefore, it’s vital you’re able to be part of a team.
Full training and support is provided to help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to thrive as a carer. You’ll learn how to deal with each aspect of the role so you’ll never feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end.
Overall, as you can see, the role of the foster parent is quite extensive and requires so much more than simply caring for a child. It may seem intimidating, but thanks to the full support and training provided, you’ll never feel like you’re out of your depth or in it alone.
If you have any questions about being a foster carer or want to learn more about how you can apply, please get in touch with our friendly team today.