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Could you foster a child?


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Unfortunately in the UK, every year thousands of children are placed into foster care when their parents can no longer look after them. It may because they have been abused or neglected, their parents are finding it extremely difficult to care for them at that precise time or they may feel they cannot continue to care for them at all. As a result, children are placed with a foster carer or foster family, who will look after them in the foster carers own home and provide them with a safe and secure environment.

Being a foster carer is a huge commitment

In many cases, children who have been placed in foster care will return to their families and homes but in many cases, they may not be able to and can be placed for adoption or helped into independent living, depending on their age. Foster places can be offered on a short or long term basis, by individuals, couples or families. Anyone who is considering being a foster carer should consider the emotional commitment that is involved and should fully understand the impact fostering will have on you as an individual or family, as well as the child you are opening your lives and home to.

Father and foster child

Many children who are placed in foster care have developed complex emotional or behavioural needs, so a good foster carer will be open minded, understanding, forgiving, and patient, warm, resilient, strong and encouraging. You will need to have a spare bedroom so that the child can have their own private space and the main carer should have the time and energy to be a professional foster carer. So if you are main carer and also have a full time job,  you may need to consider whether you are suitable and have the time and commitment to offer a child.  If you are planning on fostering with a partner or you already have your own children, the decision should be made as a family as to whether you want to foster, taking into consideration the needs and feelings of all family members and the impact fostering may have on you as a family unit.

Foster care training

If you decide you want to become a foster carer, then you will be assessed and provided with the appropriate training in order to give the best care for the child and ensure you are fully equipped and ready to foster a child. The training will help develop your skills as a carer, help with your professional development and encourage you to look at the effects of discrimination in all aspects of life which many children in foster care face everyday. Once you are approved as a carer, you will have to complete compulsory training in First Aid, managing behaviour, drugs/substance abuse and safer caring training. You will also be expected follow a core curriculum which covers training, support and development standards for foster care, certain competencies within the Diploma in Childcare qualification and follow best practice guidelines set out by the government.

There are currently around 70,000 children in foster care and a shortage of carers as present. Being a foster carer can be both challenging and emotionally tough and is certainly not a decision to be made lightly. But it can also extremely rewarding, being there for a child at their most vulnerable, playing a pivotal role in their development and opening your home to welcome them into it, whether it is for just a day or for years to come.



About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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