Stepping into the role of foster carer means lots of different things. No two days will be the same and you will have a positive impact on the lives of all the children that come into your home. The following considerations are universal, and ought to be taken on board before signing up.
Which Agency to Pick
Your first task will be to pick an agency to work with. There are great choices like Fostering People that support their carers and help form positive relationships within the care network. It’s up to you to sit down and create an analysis of the local options and provision and see where the journey takes you. After all, these are the professionals who will keep you grounded, provide essential support, and guide you through what it means to be a great carer.
There Are Rules and Guidelines
Each foster carer is bound by both rules and strict guidelines. These both influence and dictate how you look after children and what you can do with the time together. For example, it is impossible for you to just jet off and go on vacation without first clearing it with your foster care agency. Why? Because safeguarding and protocol are top priorities! Everything has to be done by the book so that the agency and you are completely accountable for each decision and action that happens in your home. This is the best way to ensure children are protected.
Your Life Will Change
Yes, your life will definitely change but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Lots of changes should be welcomed with open arms, and this could be one of them! Foster children bring a unique perspective on life and new stories for your family unit to uncover too. It is what you do with this time that determines how successful a placement really is, and your mindset or general attitude which will dictate how well you all adapt to the changes ahead.
You Will Do Amazing Things
A foster carer who welcomes a child into their home is already doing an amazing thing. Yet, the time you spend together will also be transformative for both you and them. These actions speak volumes, and you should never underestimate the importance of what you’re offering.
There Will Be Lots of Discussions About Safety
The biggest thing that you will discuss at length is safety. Safety comes in all shapes and sizes, and there is a lot to think about in this area. Talking about safeguarding, creating risk assessments, and considering developmental barriers are all significant parts of these conversations and it is in your best interests to fully engage with what lies ahead. Great carers always put safety first, and this will be a guiding point for every decision you make as you move along the journey.
Foster carers should know what the role entails before they accept a child into their home. The hours are long, but the impact you have on a child’s life is more than significant.
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