Fostering Advice – The Do’s and Don’ts
Deciding to foster and begin an exciting new journey as a carer is an exciting time, but we understand that it can also be a little stressful. For those who are considering becoming a foster parent, currently going through the application process, or embarking on their first year as an approved carer with Family Fostering Partners, we want you to feel supported and empowered. That’s why we’ve put together a list of useful advice on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of becoming a carer!
Ask lots of questions during the application process
Whilst the application process is a time for us to get to know you better, it is also just as important for you to get to know us! Ask any and every question that crosses your mind, get to know the social workers, link workers and other members of our team that make working here so great, and make yourselves familiar with the fostering process and protocols. We want you to be happy and satisfied in your role as a carer and feel comfortable with the team - so ask away!
Speak to your friends and family about your decision to foster
If you’re thinking about fostering, it’s a great idea to speak to your nearest and dearest about your thoughts. Get their opinion and listen to their thoughts and feelings. After all, these people will be an important support system for you if you do decide to foster - make sure to include them in the process!
Choosing to foster is not an overnight process and the full application can take between 3 and 5 months from initial inquiry to approval. Check out our blog here for more information on how long the application process takes. What’s more, even after approval, there’s no guarantee how quickly a child will be coming to stay with you. This could be just a few weeks or it could be longer. Patience is key when it comes to reaping the rewards of fostering.
Organisation is an essential skill and will be valuable to you in your career as a foster carer. Obviously, parenting requires organisational skills, but as a foster parent, you will also need to factor in contact time, training courses and meetings with social workers into your already busy schedule. Being organised will help you to keep on top of your responsibilities without unnecessary stress or hassle.
Worry if you feel nervous or apprehensive, this is normal!
Being nervous about the application process or your first year on the job is extremely normal and nothing to be worried about. Being nervous shows that you care and that you want to do a good job! Our team at Family Fostering Partners are compassionate and will do what we can to support you and settle your nerves at every step of your fostering journey.
Don’t feel isolated if you’re struggling or need someone to talk to. We are always here for you. Check out our page on support for foster carers to find out more about the services we offer such as a 24-hour support service and support groups. A strong support network surrounding you will mean that you never feel alone and have others to lift you up if you ever need it!
Be afraid to ask for more support or training
Support and training do not stop when you are approved as a carer. We offer continued advice, guidance and training opportunities for all of our foster parents. Our core training programme is designed to cover all the essential skills and information you’ll need to be an amazing carer and we also offer “catch-up” classes for those who want a refresher.
Let one bad day knock you down
Parenting is a challenge and not every day is going to be daisies and roses. Don’t let one bad day, week or even month get you down! Fostering is a process and each child who comes to you will have a unique personality and a different set of needs that you will need to adapt to. Being resilient will allow you to move on from rough days and continue to grow, learn and progress.
As always, if you need any further fostering advice, please get in contact with us. Start your journey to become a foster carer today by contacting us. Call 03300 948816, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the form below.