Although there are so many children in need of foster care, not everyone is cut out for this role. We look at the qualities you need to be a successful foster carer. See how well you match up and consider opening your home and heart to a child in need.
Emotional and Mental Equilibrium
By its nature, life is full of challenges, and no one is exempt. But some people weather the vagaries of life with a calm demeanor and seem to cope better than others who panic whenever something does not go according to plan. As a foster carer, you will be providing a stable home to a child who has already been exposed to trauma and who, as a result, will be experiencing a range of emotions. It is up to the foster carer to show these children that life can be filled with warmth, love, and positivity, that there is a silver lining, and that they do have a future worth embracing.
Be a Team Player
Although you will be at the coalface, so to speak, when working with the challenges that sometime present, a foster carer is also part of a team. This includes social workers, the courts, psychologists, and other professionals who are responsible for seeing that a child is placed in a safe and caring environment. You need to be able to work with the rest of the team with the focus being placed on what is best for the child in your care.
There is a benefit to being a part of a team. Help is always available at your agency if you need it, which you can contact by visiting fosteringpeople.co.uk, for example. You will also undergo a solid training program to impart skills and knowledge.
Manage Daily Care
You will have to provide care on a 24/7 basis, such as healthy meals, stable routines, and emotional support. This requires you to have the energy and fortitude to deal with the daily demands that come with caring for a child. Foster children often come with baggage and can present certain challenges. You need the equanimity to cope with the hard times and maximize the good ones.
Being resilient and non-judgemental will instill confidence in you and help the child to cope with their own emotional ups and downs. An ability to empathize is necessary. You will also need endless patience at times as the child struggles to find their feet in a new home.
Foster Carers Must be Role Models
How you set healthy boundaries and cope with the normal ups and downs of life will be closely watched by your foster children. They have lacked a positive role model and are looking to you to be different and impart essential life skills. How you listen, communicate, and act are all under scrutiny as many foster children expect to be let down by important people in their lives. You need to show your foster children that life’s challenges can be met with humor and tenacity to succeed. Sound judgement is an essential trait you will require as a foster carer.
Do you possess these skills and personality traits? Are you adaptable? Can you provide warmth and acceptance? Then you may be born to be a foster carer.