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Become a foster carer with Perpetual Fostering

Thousands of new foster families are needed across the UK to provide secure and loving homes for vulnerable children and young people.

This is not only to replace the 12% of foster carers who leave each year, it is also to ensure that the children who enter care can be matched, immediately, to the right foster carer with the right skills.

New foster homes are especially needed for teenagers, sibling groups and children with disabilities. Around 38,000 of the young people in care in England are aged 10 or older, and over 2,000 children with disabilities are currently in care because their parents couldn’t fully support their needs at home.

Without enough foster carers, the children can end up being placed with foster families who live a long way from their family, school and friends and that lack the ideal skills and experience needed to meet their specific needs.

So what makes a good foster carer?

While every foster carer is unique and brings unique life experiences to the role, there are some universal qualities all good foster carers share, including great listening skills, a non-judgemental nature, a sense of humour and patience, along with the energy and motivation needed to address the challenges that arise. It is also imperative that foster carers understand how it feels for children to be separated from their own families.

A good foster carer must be able to:

• Provide an excellent standard of care, supporting the young person’s health and education needs and leisure interests
• Listen and communicate with young people in a manner that is appropriate for their age
• Help the child to keep in contact with their friends and family, if appropriate
• Set appropriate boundaries and manage behaviour, without resorting to physical punishment or unreasonable discipline methods
• Ensure the young person is cared for in an environment that is safe from harm and abuse
• Work as part of a team with the child’s social worker, teacher and other professionals.

If you are considering becoming a foster carer, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself:

• Can you commit to a child?
• Are you warm, positive and nurturing?
• Are you patient and understanding?
• Are you a good listener and can you communicate openly and honestly?
• Are you able to be flexible whilst setting clear boundaries?
• Are you emotionally resilient?
• Can you take constructive criticism?
• Are you solutions focused?

Remember, a good foster agency will work with you to develop your skills, ensuring you have not only the training and support needed to become an approved foster carer, but also to ensure you continue to experience growth in this highly rewarding career.

So if you are considering becoming a foster carer and you can answer yes to the above, we would love to hear from you.

Perpetual Fostering needs you! So get in touch via the website or call our team on 0845 1304748.

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Article Information

Posted on 15 July 2014

Posted in Becoming a foster carer

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