Are you looking for a rewarding career whilst caring for children? Foster caring could be the path for you. Do you have spare time to dedicate to young people who no longer have a family through no fault of their own?
That time could be put to good use helping that child to grow and learn whilst being part of your family in a safe and secure living environment.
What is a Foster Carer?
Fostering children is a practice that has been going in many countries. Vulnerable children who need caregivers from abusive families require special treatment for them to recover from their trauma and uphold social behaviours.
You can become a foster carer where you will be paid by the organization or government to take care of these children. However, not all people are mandated with the role of foster carers.
Becoming a foster carer is a process, and the below information can help you in becoming a better parent.
Working as a Foster Carer
It could be easier than you think to become a foster carer, however it must be remembered that children come from all walks of life so it isn’t necessarily always easy. And whilst the pros tend to outweigh the cons, it’s worth looking at all angles of the career to make sure it is right for you.
As part of fostering you tend to receive monetary compensation, and whilst this shouldn’t be the sole reason that you take on this career path, it can certainly help you and your family along the way to care for a foster child.
It must be taken into consideration that the responsibilities of a foster carer are a round-the-clock job, and some children are more demanding than others. You must think about the impact this could have on your family life.
What do you need to become a Foster Carer?
1. Good and Strong Support From Your Friends and Family
Although fostering a child can be so very rewarding, it also has its challenges and can be stressful at times. You will need people around you to talk to and who understand what you are doing.
Even if you don’t have that support network in your immediate family and friends, you won’t be doing it alone. There are a multitude of agencies and support groups available to provide you with help and advice when you need it.
You also need to take into consideration the impact foster caring could have on your own children, and if it’s something they are happy with.
2. Patience and Understanding
The child that you foster could have an abusive background – whether that’s physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally – which could leave them finding it hard to adapt to your home environment.
You will need to be patient, and whilst you might not know every detail of what they have gone through, a little understanding could go a long way.
Be aware that this could lead to misbehaving and difficult behaviour that you must be ready to deal with – whether that is temper tantrums, running away or simply not speaking.
3. Communicate with Your Foster Children
Stemming on from being patient and understanding, being comfortable with asking questions can help to make a good foster carer and could help you strike up a bond with your foster child and assist in them being happier in your care whilst trusting you.
For a successful relationship between you and your foster child, always ensure that you maintain constant communication. Constant engagement helps in creating a bond and knowing each other more. As you communicate with your child, either physically or via the phone, make sure you do not create the impression of an authoritative or nagging parent.
Foster children should feel free to communicate with you not only when they need something, but also when just checking on you. Hold discussions with your foster child to establish what they feel that they are not comfortable with, or what they look forward to doing more often.
Ask for their suggestions to make them feel that they are part and parcel of the family.
Why Do Children Need a Foster Care?
The majority of foster children are either sexually, physically or psychologically abused and are seeking refuge in a friendly family. They desire to have a haven where they can forget their past and focus on a better life, with loving people. You will realise that most of the times these children are hard to handle and overly emotional.
As much as you want to play the role of a parent, you should ensure that you create friendship between yourselves first. Show them that you understand what they are going through and your dedication to being their best friend. Some children may show signs of being uncooperative and unwilling to talk.
Others may throw tantrums and aggression as they adapt to their new home. There are also foster children with special needs and need to be handled with care and differently from the rest.
What Makes a Good Foster Carer?
As a foster carer, you need to have patience and love for the children. You will be making a lot of sacrifices, sometimes going beyond your means to make sure the foster children have fully recovered.
Simply put, providing a welcoming home to a child or young person you take into care, whilst being patient and willing to give up your time.
However, seeking advice and help when times get difficult will help you become a better foster carer as you can put in place measures, with the help of the foster agency, to support that foster child better.
If foster caring is something you would like to do, and you have the time, patience and attributes to do a foster child justice, whilst supporting and leading them to a better life, call your local foster agency today to speak to someone further.
It is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do, and seeing your foster child come on leaps and bounds under your care is something they, and you, will never forget.