How are foster carers supported
Being a foster carer is a genuinely remarkable position. They open their hearts and their homes in order to give a child safety, care and a chance to fulfil their potential. This is only possible when the foster carer themselves are supported.
To provide the most comprehensive support to the foster carer, and thus the child, a team-based approach is needed. No one can successfully foster without a scaffold of services, outlets and support.
Why is Support Needed for Foster Carers?
Children entering a foster care placement come from a vast range of different backgrounds. A foster carer needs to be able to care for and benefit the child, whatever their story. No matter the reason why a child comes in to foster care, at the very minimum they have suffered a loss.
Furthermore, children may be confused or bewildered by their own lack of control over their living arrangements. They may have experienced trauma or domestic violence. They may come from a home where relationships have broken up. They may present with disabilities, behavioural problems or complex care needs.
No two children coming into a foster placement react and behave in the same way. They are uniquely individual. Therefore, for a foster carer to meet their needs, the foster carer will need support and a means of gaining understanding about this particular child.
The Support on Offer
Different fostering agencies vary enormously in terms of the support they offer to their foster carers. This is why it is important when choosing to become a foster carer that you choose an agency that offers exceptional levels of support.
We also know that the support on offer cannot be confined within standard working hours. Foster caring simply isn’t that kind of role! What’s more, emergencies rarely present themselves neatly at 10am on a Monday morning. A foster carer needs support on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year so that they can best care for the child in their charge.
However, the support available needs to go further, and not simply be reactive to a problem in the moment. Therefore we offer a complete package of support for our carers, which include:
- Induction: Foster carers are enrolled on to our in-depth induction programme that is offered over two months.
- Supervision: Supervision and support is important the enable joys to be shared and problems to be solved. This is provided by an experienced social worker dedicated to your placement.
- Therapy Access: We provide access to specialist therapists who can help you understand the child in your care better.
- Educational Support: Our foster carers have access to our qualified educational staff to ensure the child in your care reaches their full potential.
- Paid Breaks: Foster caring is a demanding role. We recognise this and offer our foster carers paid respite and/or holidays.
- Community Support: Carers are able to participate in forums, support groups and local area meetings.
- Training: Training is offered to ensure that foster carers are well equipped for their role and changes in best practice. This includes the opportunity to undertake the Level 3 Diploma in Child Care.
- Financial Support: We ensure generous remuneration so that financial concerns are removed.
Ge in touch with your local fostering agency today and speak to them about what fostering support fostering support they offer.