Fostering is something that many people think about, but they often do not get past the thought; they think foster carers are not people like them! The truth is that children and young people that need to live with foster carers are from a wide range of backgrounds, from families just like yours, and we need carers that reflect this.
We recognise that we all have different life and family experiences, as do the children that need to be fostered. We will support you in using the skills, experience, and knowledge you bring to the fostering task as well as providing support, guidance, supervision, and training that will help you to develop your skills and knowledge further and enable you to feel confident in the fostering role.
Primarily what we will be looking for in a foster carer is an ability to provide a good standard of care that will meet the needs of children placed. Including the ability to make children and young people feel safe, secure, valued, encouraged, supported, and heard.
You can be a foster carer if:
• You live with a partner
• You are single
• You are married
• You are lesbian or gay
• You are older
• You have children
• You do not have children
• You have a disability
• You are not British
• You own your home
• You do not your own house
• You are on benefits
The above list is by no means complete but hopefully reflects that foster carers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and family situations. If you are considering fostering but are unsure about whether you meet the criteria do give us a call and we will be happy to talk it through with you.
The qualities needed to be a foster carer.
• Being patient, sensitive, having lots of energy, and a sense of humour.
• Having space in your life and home.
• Being willing to learn and seek support.
• Being adaptable and emotionally resilient.
• Being able to value and understand a child’s past experiences.
• Being able empathise with the difficulties the child will have gone through.
• Being able to remain committed to the child through both good and challenging times.
• Being willing support the child in maintaining contact with their family and friends.
• Being able to encourage, support, and promote the educational needs of the child.
• Being able to encourage and provide a healthy lifestyle.
• Being able to support the child’s individual interests.
A tall order we know! But nothing less than any child might expect from their carers. There is no doubt that Fostering does take time, energy, and commitment but our existing carers will tell you that as well as being challenging, it is worthwhile and rewarding. You are not in this alone, you will be fully supported by the team at Fitzgerald Fostering who will help you to provide successful, supportive placements for the most vulnerable young people.
Support will include:
• A generous allowance.
• Excellent training opportunities in a range of formats.
• Access to a therapist.
• 24-hour support from people you know and who will know the children you care for.
• A named fostering social worker to provide you with support, guidance, and supervision.
• Support groups with other foster carers.
• Access to other experienced carers.
• A range of social events.
If you would like to discuss any of the above further, please do get in touch.