What Does It Mean To Be A Foster Carer?


The role of a foster carer

Fostering is a term that comes with a lot of preconceptions or lack of understanding. Fostering loosely refers to a child or young person who has been placed with a family that is not their birth family, but the act of fostering is much more than that statement alone.

Foster carers provide stability, reliability, love and mentorship to children and young people who are navigating a turbulent time in their lives. The level of a child/young person’s understanding of their situations varies due to many factors, so the challenges that come with welcoming a young person are never prescriptive – flexibility, thinking on your feet and stoicism are all traits that foster carers embody.

Foster carers need to make themselves emotionally available (not just physically) to help manage the needs of a child, much like they would their own children. Without having the legal right to represent the child as you do with adoptions and birth children.
When you care for a looked after child, you are required to attend meetings, reviews, school functions and other appointments for that child, becoming an advocate for them in professional settings.

Becoming a great foster carer

Children and young people have individualised needs and requirements. Depending on their circumstances, children can display challenging, sexualised, attachment and rejection issues that require sensitivity, support and a lack of judgement. To become a successful foster carer, you must be prepared to manage these kind of behaviours in ways that do not ostracise the young person in any way.

That professionalism and mindfulness are also required when dealing with a child’s birth family. As a foster carer, you will promote and encourage contact, making the experience for the child as positive as it can be.


You will also need to be mindful that children may not always stay with you forever and there may be times when you have to say goodbye. This can be a difficult situation, however many recognise that children moving on can often be a positive experience, knowing that you have helped them achieve their true potential.

However, during your time as a carer, you will support the development of any children and young people in your care by encouraging them to reach their full potential. This may be by supporting them in their studies and encouraging good attendance at school or could be by promoting and facilitating any extra-curricular activities or interests that a child may have.

Building a support network

Stickability requires a strong network around you to provide a helping hand when and if you need it. A support network doesn’t need to just be friends and family, although they are key to ensuring a successful placement.

At The CFT we encourage fellow foster carers to lean on one another for an emotional outlet. You will attend training together, join support groups together and ultimately learn from one another. Experiences that are shared can have profound impacts on the way others deal with similar situations, every lesson learnt may help another family traverse difficulties that are affecting a young person in their care.

When you join The CFT you’re part of a family network that supports every carer and child. We want to go above and beyond the call of duty to maximise the fostering experience.


Make an enquiry!

Become a foster carer

Read about our carer's experiences

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Your interview - What you need to know.
If you’ve been invited to an interview, it’s your chance to meet us, tell us about yourself, and take a step towards building your incredible career.
Your interview is your opportunity to learn more about us.
So come prepared with your questions. Plus its our opportunity to get to know you, understand your motivation to work in this sector and get a good understanding of your experience and background.
The first step.
Is either a face to face interview carried out in person or via TEAMS. If you’re successful, the next stage is a more formal interview with at least two members of our team. At least one of the interview panel will have been trained in the NSPCC safer recruitment standards.
You might be invited for a second interview.
Or we might ask you to prepare a presentation or other sample of work. Think about what the role requires and prepare to show you’re a great fit.
We’ll carry out a criminal record check.
Bring the necessary identity documents to your formal interview. The address on the documents should match the address on your application form. You’ll need proof of your right to work in the UK, you will be provided with a list of approved identification documents in line with The Disclosure and Barring Service and proof of your address.
Remember to bring any qualification certificates that are required for the role.
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Be a successful candidate!
Read through our hints and tips and give yourself the best chance at a career with The CFT.
Do your research!
Look at our website and check that you match our outlook and culture.
Apply via our application form.
We require a fully completed application form, we’ll ask for your full employment history from age 16, include all job titles, employment dates and your reason for leaving – and if there are any gaps, please tell us why.
We’ll need contact details of referees.
Referee's should be people you’ve worked with during the last three years. One should be your most recent employer. We’ll also need a reference from any employer where you’ve worked directly with children and young people and a personal referee.
We’ll carry out a criminal record check.
If you’ve lived abroad within the last ten years, you might also be asked to complete an overseas criminal record check.
If your application is successful.
There may be some more pre-employment checks specific to the role, but a member of our HR Team will be in touch to talk you through what’s needed.
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