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101 Foster Care Tips: Developing Boundaries

For anyone new to the world of fostering, you may have read or been informed by your social worker about the importance of developing boundaries with the children and young people in your care.

The ability to develop healthy boundaries is something that takes time to master, as each situation could be different to the next one. Unfortunately, the majority of children and young people who come into foster care have experienced very poor boundaries in their lifetime.

Whether they’re emotional or physical boundaries, being able to establish and maintain them within a fostering placement is a crucial factor to the success of the relationship between foster family and child.

On the surface, building boundaries may seem like a rather daunting prospect at first, but with the right training and development, in addition to the level of support you’ll receive during each placement by our team, we know you’ll have no problem in creating a wonderful relationship with a foster child from the very start.

What Joanne says about developing boundaries in foster care…

“Be fair but firm. If any child or young person feels that there is an injustice then they will stand their ground. Just remember, there is always two sides to every story.”

“If you need advice on a situation, you can always talk to your supervising social worker – who will have no doubt encountered similar situations before.”

Our fostering community say…

“Everyone has to have boundaries. We can’t just get up in the morning and decide to drive on the right hand side of the road today – if we did there would be consequences. It is the same thing with your foster children. If they don’t do their school work they need to know there will be consequences.” – Elaine P

“I tell them that every action has a reaction. If they do behave well then good things can happen, but if they behave badly then they can lose their privileges, like watching television or playing on the Xbox.” – Elaine G

“They will try to push the boundaries so you need to know where they are. I just think, ‘what would I do if it was my own child?” – Cathryn

“You have to have consistency. You can’t say there will be consequences and then give in just because they become difficult. You’ve got to stick to it as it is in the best interest of everyone, especially the child in the long term.” – Elaine P

To receive more information about setting boundaries within foster care, or if you’re interested in becoming a foster carer with us, why not get in touch with a member of our team. We all know that fostering is the most rewarding thing you could do for a child!

Article Information

Posted on 7 February 2016

Posted in Support for foster carers

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