Caring for a foster child is a serious commitment. First, you must look at your life and ask yourself – do I have the time to be a foster carer? If you think you have the time and feel ready to start your fostering journey. Here is an insight into what to expect in a foster carer’s role.
The foster caring role is about empowering the foster child. However, you will find the process very personally fulfilling. If you are ready to put in the work on a day to day basis, then becoming a foster carer could be the most incredible role you have ever taken on!
Building a relationship and a healthy home environment for a child can be, at first, a little overwhelming. There is an avalanche of web pages on parental responsibility and offering parenting tips. Ultimately, every carer and parent has difficult days. No one is an expert overnight. Be kind to yourself and remember the role isn’t one size fits all.
Every day you will learn and grow into a better carer. Each foster carer and foster child builds a unique relationship. They might be with you for a long time or a very short time, make the most of the moments you have. The child will need a lot of emotional support, but you have an opportunity to be a positive figure in their life.
Give Them A Future They Can Believe In
Not many kids love school. But education is so essential for their future prospects. As a foster parent, you need to be a cheerleader for the foster child’s school career.
It would help if you always champion knowledge and find ways to make learning an aspirational and fun activity. Educational hobbies like reading books is an excellent thing for you to encourage. Reading is an activity that can turn into a lifelong passion if started from a young age. The right book can also help spark the child’s imagination and help them feel inspired or happy. Apple Fostering has a small ‘online library’ of helpful content. Check out the blogs to find some great recommendations – like this one on books that help kids understand racism and the world around them.
Your foster child will be looking to you, not just for discipline and boundaries. They need to be entertained and share good times. Reading can be a bonding activity that sneaks in a bit of education.
School, thankfully, isn’t all books and learning. Facilitating social events and gatherings where the classmates can have fun would be beneficial. Sometimes foster kids come from not so friendly environments. Making a little friend will make all the difference to their life.
Communicate With Your New Team
It is vital to remember that you are not alone at any point in the fostering journey. The training is comprehensive, and there is a wealth of advice and information covering all the bases. If you are ever feeling a little discouraged or hesitant about a situation, there is always someone to talk to.
In choosing to start your fostering journey, you immediately become part of a wonderful community. The foster carer community is supportive and welcoming. As part of Apple Fostering’s expert training, you will be introduced to experienced carers who are happy to share all their nuggets of wisdom. They have been in your shoes before and have gone through the highs and lows. In addition, advice from current foster families will be useful to have in your back pocket during the first days and months with your foster child. Any new role can be scary, but talking to experienced foster carers will make it clear the challenge is worth it!
We all know from family gatherings that communication can be a little tricky. Your new foster child could have a relationship with their mum and dad or another family member, for example, an uncle or aunt. You will have to manage this if the child’s connection is healthy and fruitful.
If you have any doubts about navigating keeping in touch with the child’s family, you will receive support from the fostering agency. They will provide details on the child’s situation at home and who best to contact going forward. If the child still has a family member which they are close with, this is good news. Raising a child takes a village! More positive influences in their life will lead to better outcomes. Research shows that if they keep in contact with their family, they are a lot more likely to return to them.
Being a foster carer is a great thing to do with your life. Contact us today for more information about starting your ‘new family’.