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Foster carers talk opening about their nerves and anxieties at the time of a placement. After all, there is always a degree of uncertainty when meeting a child for the first time.

There is also the worry that once a placement is made, and boundaries and routines are put in place, there might be a few bumps in the road. We understand this and that is why foster carers are not left alone and expected to cope at the beginning – social workers provide daily support. This support is scaled back to a weekly basis as the relationship develops but it never goes away.

Need to talk

Foster carers can use the support of their social worker to gain advice and guidance but often people just want to talk. It can be tiring running around after children and the job has its own stresses. Often the first step in dealing with any issue you encounter is to share those experiences with a third party and your social worker is there for that.

Having that sounding board is a huge advantage as any problems can then be worked out together. It may be, however, that all you need is reassurance that you are doing the right things.

Outreach and additional help

Once a placement has been made, there is usually a watershed moment when a child begins to accept the boundaries and routines put in place by a foster carer. In the early stages, however, some children might test those boundaries to see what they can get away with.

If this ever became a problem too difficult to cope with alone, then social workers and support staff are there to provide the additional help required. Our registered mental health nurse may make an assessment and support workers will actually come out and spend time in the foster carers’ home.

This support can also serve practical purposes. For example, if a child is having problems going to sleep at bedtime they offer help at this time. Alternatively, it may be that a foster carer has suffered a personal crisis and needs extra help to get through this. In these extreme circumstances additional respite can be provide beyond the standard two weeks break available to all Perpetual’s foster carers each year.

Support is always available

Perpetual Fostering is proud to go above and beyond national minimum standards to ensure we are always available to our foster carers no matter what. Our foster carers get to meet our whole team regularly when they become part of our fostering community and this means that, even if a supervising social worker is away on holiday, you always have the support of people you know.

* If you require some extra information on support for foster carers, please do get in touch and talk this through with our fostering team.

 

 

Article Information

Posted on 11 April 2014

Posted in Support for foster carers

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