Becoming a Foster Parent
Foster parents provide a safe, caring home for children who are in crisis. As a Foster Parent you work in partnership with the young person’s Social Worker, your Social Worker, Teachers, Therapists, Support Workers and any other professionals that may be involved in the well-being of the young person. Being a Foster Parent does not stop at opening your home and providing food, clothing and shelter. It is a proactive statement of nurturing, advocacy and love.
Can you become a Foster Parent?
Before you embark on your journey of becoming an approved carer you need to be asking yourself the following questions:
- Can you love and care for a child who has come from a difficult background?
- Can you help a child develop a sense of belonging in your home even though the stay may be short-term?
- Can you understand the impact that fostering will have on your own children and wider family members?
- Could you cope when a child, because of a fear of rejection, does not open up to you or be appreciative of what you are doing for them?
- Are you secure in yourself and your parenting skills?
- Can you set clear limits and be both firm and understanding in your discipline?
- Do you view bed-wetting, lying, defiance and minor destructiveness as symptoms of a child in need?
- Can you accept assistance and guidance from trained Social Workers?
- Can you maintain a positive attitude toward a child’s parents; even though many of the problems the child is experiencing is a direct result of the parent’s actions?
- Can you accept someone as a member of your family and then say goodbye?
- Can you share your life experiences with others?
Who can become a Foster Parent?
Foster Parents come from as wide a range of backgrounds and circumstances as the children they look after. This is vitally important, as all children need to be carefully matched with prospective carers to ensure that the placement will work, and that individual carers are equipped with the necessary skills and experiences to meet the needs presented by the young person.
This means that there is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ type of person to become a Foster Parent, but there are certain essential factors which include:
- You MUST have a spare bedroom for a foster child to use, and make their own
- You need to be over the age of 21 years
- You can be single, married or living as a couple
- Anyone of any ethnic group or culture, and of any sexuality
- You can become a foster parent whether you’re unemployed, self employed or working – as long as you have sufficient time available to meet the needs of the child/children placed with you
- Essential attributes include compassion, patience, tolerance and a good sense of humour!
If you feel you have what it takes to become a Foster Parent or you wish to now more about it then please contact us by way of submitting your contact details on the home page and we will call you back.