Being a foster parent comes with a lot of rewards and a fair amount of challenges too. Regardless of where you foster, there are some universal tips that all the people about to begin this journey can benefit from. Read on for five helpful pointers for anyone starting their foster parent journey.
Find the Right Agency
There are various routes to fostering. The most common, aside from local authority access channels, are private and independent agencies. Finding the right agency for you will take an amount of research and knowledge building in order to make an informed choice. Typically, there is a lot of information to be found on an agency website like thefca.co.uk, where you should be able to find FAQs, general information, and more about fostering. A good agency is one that makes you feel supported from the very first call. They are going to be your main backup and reference point throughout your career, so the relationship has to be a good fit.
Get Your House Ready
You can’t start a foster placement if you don’t have a spare bedroom. This is a standard requirement however, there are no actual strict rules about decoration or anything else in your home. It is a good idea before any big change or new resident, to have an organise and a declutter. The space will feel more welcoming for the new foster placement child if it is clean, tidy, and feels like a warm place to be.
Remember Your Training
There will be so much ongoing training for the benefit of you and your family, and the child in your care. As a foster carer, these skills are essential to your development and for properly supporting your foster family. Your agency will provide everything you need to get started, and a rolling supply of initiatives as well. They want you to succeed, and some of the courses will be a legal requirement, for example, safeguarding avenues.
While your training is essential, and you should absolutely use it every day, it is also helpful to stay flexible. Adapting different strategies will help you develop a unique, useful set of skills that will in turn boost your confidence as you get further into the role. Flexibility means more vigilant responses and a positive push towards intuitiveness that will be invaluable regardless of whether it’s your first placement or your fiftieth.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Everyone in the world gets it wrong sometimes. Being too hard on yourself will set a placement up to fail. There are going to be days where it doesn’t feel like it’s working, and there are going to be days where you feel like the most successful foster carer there ever was or will be. Fostering is a journey with many twists and turns.
Beginning a foster placement requires dedication and hard work. Before you get that first placement, you should have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you keep moving forward in the early days. This is how experience is grown and knowledge is acquired after all