What is Fostering?
If you’re wondering what fostering is, simply put, fostering is offering a child or young person – who can no longer be with their birth parent(s) – a loving, stable family environment in your own home for a period of time. Being a foster carer can give you the opportunity to make immeasurable differences not only to the lives of the young people you care for but for your own too. Fostering is very rewarding but like anything can be quite challenging, which is why Lorimer invest heavily in you so you have the confidence to invest in them!
“A foster home for a child is a safe-haven, somewhere they feel integrated, safe and loved….a home”
Why do children need fostering?
Children need fostering for many reasons but it all boils down to one thing. The fact that their parent(s) can no longer look after them, keep them safe and/or protect them from harm. Many foster children have faced unimaginable upbringings, often suffering neglect, loss or abuse. Whatever bad situation the child has come out from, this will be their ‘norm’ and all they have ever known so may find it difficult to be separated from their parent(s). This can cause children and young people to express their feelings in a different way to how you or I would deal with it, often being withdrawn or with challenging or aggressive behaviour. This behaviour then leads to them having to move from carer to carer experiencing even more rejection. At first a carer may find the ‘ungratefulness’ hard to deal with but it is not a reflection on you, merely a coping mechanism for them to prevent them from feeling hurt. Over time you will gain their trust and they will learn to relax and appreciate the things you are doing for them.
What do foster carers have to do?
Foster carers provide a welcoming, loving, supportive and stable environment where children and young people feel valued, respected and part of the family. The day-to-day tasks carried out by each foster carer will be different dependant on the child they are looking after and the future plans for that child. Foster carers are expected to do all they can to support the child or young person they are caring for, in every area of their life: their education, their health and their social wellbeing. They will set boundaries to help children and young people behave appropriately and communicate positively. This way they can grow and mature into independent responsible adults. So now you know more about what fostering is, it is also important to remember that as a foster carer, you are not alone in your role. As well as working as part of a wider professional team with Social Workers, teachers and therapists, Lorimer foster carers themselves receive a high level of support and training to fully equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to make the difference needed to a child’s life.