Foster carers often describe their role as a rewarding opportunity that enables them to provide stable, nurturing, and safe homes for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families. Foster carers play an essential role in providing a secure and supportive family environment for children in need of physical, emotional and relational safety. Although foster carers come from all walks of life, they all have certain core attributes that fostering agencies look for.
Empathy is a key component of trauma-informed care and provides a foundation for children to overcome challenges and establish relational safety. The ability to put oneself in the child’s shoes and understand their feelings and experiences is critical. Empathy helps foster carers to recognise and understand the significant role of birth families in their children’s lives. With empathetic responses, foster carers can connect with the child at a deeper level, thus providing them with the emotional support and care they require.
Patience and resilience
Like all parents, carers, and guardians, foster carers must be patient and prepared to persevere, mindful that it can take time for foster children to trust and adjust to their new environment. Allowing the child to set their own pace in forming relationships and adapting to their new life is critical.
Being a foster carer can be emotionally challenging at times. Emotional resilience and self-awareness are key to managing one’s own feelings as they help us to respond to different situations in an appropriate manner. The ability to manage difficult situations and cope with the emotional demands of a child is essential.
One Step at a Time
It takes time to build trust and rapport, and for young people to feel safe, secure and settled in their new environment. Remember, as a foster care, you are part of a care team, so reach out to Centacare Foster Care for support.
Reaching out for help and support
At Centacare, foster carers work within a care team that wraps specialist support around each household. Being proactive in seeking help and guidance from a support practitioner and the child’s case manager can help foster carers to manage the evolving needs of children in their care. Friends and family are also an important source of empathy, reassurance, and encouragement.
Willingness to learn and undertake ongoing training
Multi-Tasking and Organisational Skills
Foster care entails many responsibilities that require careful planning. In addition to meeting the day-to-day physical needs of a child, foster carers also develop routines and activities based on the individual needs of the child. There are meetings with support workers and agencies to attend, as well as visits with their birth families, medical appointments, and school events. Foster carers must be able to prioritise their responsibilities and manage their time effectively.
A commitment to support all aspects of a child’s identity
Foster care involves supporting and guiding children to develop a strong sense of identity and self-worth. In order to do this, a foster carer must show a genuine curiosity and acceptance of the child’s interests, hobbies, and culture, as well as ensure that their spiritual and religious needs are met. These may be different to those of the foster carer.
Could you be a foster carer for a child in need?
Interested in becoming a foster carer?
If are interested in joining our circle of care, we would love to hear from you! For further information or to register your interest, please phone our Foster Care team on 8159 1400 or email email@example.com