Important Questions To Ask Yourself About Fostering a Child

Before you embark upon your foster carer journey, you must first connect with a few basic principles.

It is never too late to ask yourself some questions so that you can ensure you are making the best possible decision for both your life and that of the child you might end up looking after.

Are You In-Tune with Your Emotions?

Foster carers spend a lot of time sitting with various emotions. Whether it is a young child expressing loud thoughts and feelings, a teenager putting their own spin on things, or you battling with regulation, there will be a lot to process on any given day.

So, the biggest question you must ask yourself is how good are you at processing, recognising, and regulating emotions?

If the answer is, not very, then you may wish to dive into some intensive training and see where you land before you get started properly.

Do You Have the Hours to Give?

Fostering a child is an almost full-time role. There are respite options, but these are usually once a month, and that means you are living with the job, so to speak.

Do you have the hours to give?

It means stepping back from full-time employment and committing the time to a child who really needs it. You will share your home, your schedule, and your personal space with a young person, but for lots of people, that’s the whole point.

Can You Speak Up?

One major thing that all foster carers must do is speak up. Every day, there will be something new to face and it is your job to name it and act upon it.

Whether it is a child making a sensitive disclosure or somebody pushing a non-negotiable boundary, you must have the confidence to handle anything with compassion, nurture, and safety first and foremost.

Is Your Home Ready?

When it comes to fostering a child, your house must have a spare room ready to go. It should have neutral décor, be clean, tidy, and fully equipped for someone to move in.

If you’re not quite there, make this a top priority because once your training is complete and you have been panel-approved, it could be called into action at any second.

Are You Cooperative?

A common misconception about foster care is that you have the final say in any given situation.

Yet, this could not be further from the truth. While you have an expected degree of autonomy and authority, every big decision you make is a wholly collaborative effort. This means you will discuss it with the social worker team and work together to find the best possible answer.

For instance, where there is a problem at school, or a child wants to have a sleepover with a friend, there is a team-wide involvement to reach the safest, most suitable conclusion.

So, do you have what it takes? If you think so, then don’t let anything stop you from filling in your application and heading into the water. There is a whole world of adventure and reward waiting.

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