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Will I cope when my foster care placement arrives?

It is natural for a newly approved foster carer to question if they will cope when their first foster care placement arrives. Worrying about this means you care about what happens next.
There are three things you should know, however, which should help put your mind more at ease in regards to placements.

1. You will only be matched with placements we believe you are fully equipped to cope with.
2. You will always have the final decision on whether you accept a placement.
3. Support is always available – you are not expected to cope all on your own.

The matching process

When looking to make a match there are several things which are considered. To name a few, these include the foster carer’s:

Skills
Experience
Location
Existing family members
Cultural background
Working arrangements

For example, if a child has medical needs we look for foster carers who have experience, either in their personal or professional life, providing this type of care. If we know the placement is a challenging teenager we may look for a home where there are no other children. This filtering process ensures you will not be asked to take placements which you are not capable of handling.

Type of placements

It is also important to bear in mind that as a new foster carer, you will not be expected to make any big commitments at the start of your fostering journey. Initial placements are likely to be respite, emergency or short term placements – not long term. You will be eased into your fostering role.
When you have more experience longer term placements then become a possibility. This could be a planned long term placement or a short term placement being made permanent. If it is planned you will meet your placement a number of times – maybe for a dinner or a stay over – before anything permanent placement is arranged.

You have the final say

It is important to remember that you also always have the final say. We have referrals of all ages and all needs, and although some foster carers don’t have preferences some do and we recognise that. There will never be a situation where you have a child hoisted on you and are just expected to cope. We always have your family and household in our thoughts and you make the ultimate decision.

Support is always available

With the right support we can cope with anything and that support will always be available with Perpetual Fostering. Whether you just need some advice, extra training or additional support from our outreach service we are only ever a telephone call away.
*If you would like any further information about our support for foster carers or the matching process please get in touch with our fostering team and we will talk it through with you.

 

Article Information

Posted on 11 April 2014

Posted in Becoming a foster carer

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