The notion that any of us with a spare room and a willingness to support young people is enough to become foster carers highlights the two very basic requirements to become carers.
- Are you 21 and over
- Young people require a space that is there’s in the home.
But we see from the numbers of those leaving fostering that to be successful, a whole host of facets must come together to support those who dedicate their lives to vulnerable young people. A shiny recruitment campaign, a super speedy assessment process, promises of round the clock support and ultimately a ‘bum on a bed’, simply doesn’t serve anyone and people are left chastised by ‘the system’ and the reality of fostering in 2023.
A reality that is, foster carers need to encompass many different traits. Something our CEO Marina, who has 20+ years experience working with foster families, “can tell in the first 15 minutes of meeting prospective carers whether or not it will work”.
That’s not down to the size of their house, or their financial circumstance or even their will to become carers. It’s something that isn’t communicated knowingly but those who are successful have an edge, something different and its these individuals who we seek out in our recruitment work.
Foster carers that go on to work with children for 10, 15 or even 25 years are different. They have a willingness to rise to a challenge, but maintain a softness and sense of humour. They are head-strong yet adaptable, eager to learn yet confident in their abilities.
Getting to this point doesn’t happen without support or careful matching, but to begin with prospective carers must ask themselves – Can you meet the challenges that fostering young, traumatised children bring?
Are you willing to be adaptable?
Are you dedicated to self development?
Can you put your preconceived notions of parenthood aside and learn new ways to work with children?
Are you prepared to take on and work with trauma and the unpredictability of it all?
You may not know the answers when the time comes to enquire. Entering the assessment process may make you think twice, or it could bring a realisation that you are stronger and more fitted to the role than you first thought.
We, at The Children’s Family Trust pride ourselves on the ability to meet the needs of our carers through personalised support. From Social Workers to Registered Managers to the CEO, we know our carers as individuals, something we cannot achieve if we had bottom-lines, rushed assessment processes or profit margins to meet.
We work as a unit.
Fostering is about confidence, personality and passion. Everyone COULD become a foster carer, but to be successful requires much much more than simply love and spare bed.
AN ENQUIRY IS NO COMMITMENT
If you have the time, space, willingness and passion for fostering young people – get in touch