If fostering is something you’ve thought about, you’ve also no doubt begun to think about how you would be as a foster parent. You are sure to have concerns and worries about your abilities, and you will no doubt question whether or not you will be up to the challenge.
Therefore we’ve put a list together of some things that a foster parent needs to hopefully help you identify what traits you have and if you think the rest are something you can develop and work on to help change a child’s life...as well as your own!
Love, support and guidance
You will need a good support network to help you through, as it will be a tough process and experience for you as well as the child. Ensure you are prepared to be open with your wider family and friendship units so that you have someone to talk to when times get tough. You can look for support from other foster carers too which is useful.
A lot of patience
Any parent needs patience, but a foster parent will need patience by the bucket load. You will be working with a lot of different people instead of being left to take control of everything by yourself, which many new foster parents obviously may find a little tough, and you will be looking after a child with potentially a lot of issues and problems. You will need to be patient with the child especially, who is unlikely to be comfortable right away in a new setting, especially if they have been moved around a lot.
An open mind and positive attitude
You are likely to deal with people from all backgrounds and situations on this journey, especially when it comes to the child’s biological family and it’s vital that you remain open minded and stay positive throughout the interactions. You will need to display a positive attitude towards their biological family as they will still likely have a lot of rights over the child, and you will not want to upset or offend the child by insulting their family and where they came from.
A safe and loving environment for the child
You will of course need to provide the child with a safe, happy, loving and warm environment where they will have everything they need. In terms of things like having their own bedroom, this may differ from different foster agencies, but it is usually agreed that they will require their own. Home may be a difficult concept for some children, so you may need to make an extra effort to make them feel welcome.
Good communication skills
You will be working with a lot of people throughout the whole process, from obviously the children themselves to their biological parents and wider family, and foster care social workers. Companies like Capstone Foster Care have social workers that are there to help you every step of the way and it’s important that you are ready to work with such a wide network of people, and are happy to share your lives with them.