Foster Carer Qualities | What Helps To Make A Great Foster Carer? | Lorimer Fostering

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Foster Carer Qualities | What Helps To Make A Great Foster Carer?

Posted on 18th March 2019 by

FOSTER CARER QUALITIES

In reality, great foster carers come from all types of backgrounds, each with different households, family units and lifestyles. The relationship status, gender, age, family make-up, employment type and cultural background of each person are not significant factors in whether or not being a foster carer is right for someone. Common traits of successful foster carers are more evident when evaluating their skills, values and personal qualities, as well as their ability to build positive and lasting relationships with children and young people.

Foster Carer Qualities

Below are ten personal qualities and skills that we believe are common among great foster carers:

Supportive

It is important for young people in placement to receive support from their foster carers. If support is given in the right way, foster carers can help young people to overcome significant challenges they may be facing. Children can sustain long-term damage if they are not supported in the right way. This is especially true when dealing with complex issues such as neglect and abuse.

Reliable

Foster carers are relied upon for many things during a placement. This may be to transport the young person back and forth to school, medical appointments or community facilities. Fostering Agencies and Local Authorities rely on their foster carers to provide constant physical and emotional support to the young person living with them.

Motivated

Caregivers should be motivated to have meaningful and lasting relationships with the young people placed with them. Foster carers should also be motivated to help create better outcomes for the children placed in their care. Without motivation, foster carers may find it difficult to navigate a placement or know what to do when a situation goes wrong.

Committed

When foster carers show commitment to a young person it helps to encourage and maintain a stable placement. Foster carers make a commitment to be meaningful and present in the child’s life. Being a successful foster carer takes time and can be hard work. That’s why being committed is such an important aspect of the foster care process. Foster carers are required to attend regular training. This is to help make sure they are always meeting the needs of the young person who is living with them. Some foster carers would not be able to achieve this without a high level of commitment.

Flexible

Children placed in foster care have no choice but to adapt to their new situation, settings, and the people around them. Foster carers realise this, and by being as flexible as possible in their approach they can help to ease their young person in to their new surroundings. To achieve this flexibility, sometimes foster carers will have to adapt their routines and lifestyle to meet the needs of a young person.

Honest

Foster carers need to work openly and honestly with both agencies and professionals throughout their assessment and their further fostering career. By building relationships based on honesty, it can make the fostering process much more comfortable for all parties involved.

Patient

Sometimes it can take a while for a young person to settle in to a new placement, and their new home. Foster carers should be patient during this time, as it can be hard for a young person to let down their guard whilst enduring this vulnerable period in their life.

Caring

Being caring is one of the most important foster carer qualities we look for. When looking after vulnerable children and young people, it is vital that foster carers are caring and considerate. Through their approach, foster carers must meet the intellectual, emotional and cultural needs of the young person who is placed with them. By showing that they care about things which are also important to the foster child, it can help to break down barriers and help the young person to be more open and trusting.

Nurturing

Creating a nurturing environment for a young person is an important part of the fostering process. Each child will respond to a different approach when it comes to parenting. Foster carers need to adjust to be able to work with different children and their needs. This doesn’t mean changing the rules at home, but instead working individually with each child to find out how to motivate them. By nurturing a young person you are giving them the opportunity to grow, taking their emotional needs in to consideration as well as their physical needs.

Empathetic

When placed with new foster carers, a lot of young people have difficulty adjusting to their new home and environment. They can experience many different emotions, including feelings of sadness, confusion and loss. Because of this, it is important for foster carers to have empathy towards the young people that they care for. Being empathetic allows foster carers to have a greater understanding of the complex needs of a young person in placement. It also gives carers the opportunity to discover the reasons behind their foster child’s day-to-day behavior, thoughts and feelings. When foster carers understand the needs of their foster child, they are able to more accurately adapt their parenting approach.

Get In Touch

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what helps to make a great foster carer. If you believe you have the foster carer qualities as detailed above, please get in touch. You can book an informal chat with Lorimer Fostering by heading to our ‘Get In Touch‘ page.

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