Foster carers should never feel pressured!
Foster carers should never feel under pressure to accept a foster placement they are ill equipment to handle.
It was disturbing to read research, published by the Fostering Network earlier this year, that one in three foster carers had felt put under pressure to take children who they were not trained or supported to look after.
This should not be happening as it risks a breakdown in the fostering relationship and lessens the likelihood of a positive outcome. As an independent fostering agency we have thorough procedures in place in to ensure these situations do not occur.
These procedures include:
1. A careful matching process and,
2. Extensive support and training.
The matching process
To ensure that a breakdown is extremely unlikely we carefully assess the characteristics of both the child and potential foster carer.
This involves looking into the background of child, and considering their particular needs. Depending on the child, we will consider factors such as whether it would be better for them to be placed with other children or on their own.
We will then search for a foster carer with the right set of skills and experience. Other factors we assess include their location, existing family members, cultural background and working arrangements.
The process is lengthy but essential to ensure that our foster carers are confident and fully equipped to cope with their placement.
Training and support
Another key step to ensuring that foster carers feel fully equipped to cope with a foster care placement, is to provide them with appropriate training beforehand.
We are constantly striving to create a culture of fostering excellence at Perpetual Fostering and this starts with the training we provide to our foster carers. This training begins as soon as a potential foster carer applies to Perpetual Fostering, before they are approved, and takes place on a continual basis post approval.
When receiving a placement, it is also crucial that foster carers feel confident they are being supported.
Professional support is made available to our foster carers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our foster carers also know support is only ever a telephone call away. To boost our foster carers’ support networks, we also nurture a vibrant community spirit and operate a buddy and mentor which enables peer to peer support.
If you would like any more information in regards to the matching process, or the training and support available through Perpetual Fostering, please get in touch with our team via the website or call 0845 130 4748.