Fostering is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. It is often used to provide temporary care while parents get help sorting out problems or to help children or young people through a difficult period in their lives.
Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and that it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely. Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.
The foster carer’s role is to provide high quality care for the child. All children in foster care will be looked after by a local authority and the foster carers will work in partnership with the local authority to provide this. The foster carers may also work with other professionals such as therapists, teachers or doctors to help the child to deal with emotional traumas or physical or learning disabilities.
Fostering is about providing a caring and safe environment for children and young people, including those who have disabilities and/or challenging behaviour.
With our support, you can care for a child or children placed in your home by the agency. Working in partnership with the Children Always First staff, the child’s family and other professionals, you will help these children fulfil their potential and achieve security, stability and happiness.
The most important thing you’ll do as a foster carer is make a child feel wanted in your home. Most of the children who come to you will feel scared and confused after being removed from familiar surroundings. They may be hurt and angry about the things that have happened to them. You may have to work hard when a child arrives to reassure them that they’ll be safe with you.
According to the age and abilities of your child you’ll have to deal with basic tasks like washing, dressing, feeding, and getting him or her ready for school. Then there’s the extra laundry, shopping, bed-making. You’ll be helping with homework and encouraging your child to keep up with school, hobbies and friendships. In every way possible you’ll be trying to build their confidence and self-esteem. You’ll make sure that a child’s health needs are taken care of and they attend regular dental and optical checks. You’ll be meeting with social workers, teachers, parents and other people concerned about the child, and you will help the children keep up contact with parents or other family members.
Ultimately you’ll provide a warm, caring and secure home to a child or children for as long as they need. Like all parenting it can be challenging but also one of the most rewarding things you can do.