Foster Parenting Tips and Tricks
Being a foster parent is extremely rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Fusion Fostering provides a full training programme for newly approved foster carers as well as ongoing training and support. However, we all need some additional tips and tricks up our sleeve! That’s why Fusion Fostering has put together a list of useful tips, advice and ideas for new and experienced carers alike:
Have a Support System in Place
Having a strong support system is probably our most important tip! It is extremely important to have a network of support surrounding you. Before you apply, speak to friends and family and get to know their thoughts on the matter. Having those people on your side will be a great support to you on your new adventure as well as the support you receive from Fusion Fostering. Read more about the support we offer to all of our carers here.
Be Respectful of Birth Parents
It can be easy to judge birth parents or feel upset or resentful of their actions that may have led the child to enter your care. Your foster child may also feel some anger or resentment, it is important for you to listen to and respect the young person’s thoughts and feelings and encourage them to talk. However, speaking badly of their parents will ultimately be damaging and is not the right path to take. Be respectful, understanding and open.
Have the Essentials Ready
By its very nature, foster care can be unpredictable. It is a good idea to have the essentials ready at all times. Depending on the type of care you provide, children may be coming to stay with you at short notice. Keeping fresh bed sheets, toiletries including a toothbrush, extra frozen food and other essential items stocked up is a great way to ensure you are well prepared.
Have a Welcome to our Home Book
Moving to a strangers home can be a really scary time for young people, it is important that you make the transition as welcoming and stress-free as possible. At Fusion, as part of the assessment with all potential carers we will ask you to do a ‘welcome to our home book’ which is a good way of introducing children, especially younger children, to your family. The book can include photos of your home, who lives in the house with their first names as well as activities you like to do. Having this easily on hand means the child or young person can refer to it if they ever need to.
Establish Ways of Communicating Whilst Living Together
It can also be a good idea to have a board or other notice board with what’s on the menu on display or planned activities. You could also include other information such as family outings, chores or any other plans you have. This openness gives the child access to information and lets them know that they are included.
Boundaries are Important
Discipline is an important part of childcare, this is when children feel safe and secure with reliable and predictable adults. It can be especially important for foster child care. Clear boundaries help to organise your household and let the foster child know what is acceptable and what isn’t. At the point of any child being placed, a placement plan is agreed that considers some of the boundaries needed to ensure there are clear expectations put in place.
Fusion will go through with each potential carer to develop a safe care plan so everyone understands how you live in your household and how you will keep children and yourself safe.
Remember Self Care
Don’t forget to make time for yourself! Parenting is a full-time job and it can be stressful, unpredictable and challenging. Making some time for yourself can help you to relax and unwind, ready to take on the challenges of a new day!
We hope you found these tips and tricks useful. If you’re reading this and thinking you have what it takes to become a foster parent, we want to hear from you! Or, if you enjoyed our tips and want to work with us, consider transferring to Fusion Fostering. We are always happy to answer your questions and offer friendly advice, get in contact by filling out our online form here or by giving us a call on 03301 239355.
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