If you’re entering your first year of your fostering career, or even just considering becoming a foster carer for the first time, it can all feel a bit daunting. As with any new career, the element of the unknown is scary! That’s why Fusion is here to give you some useful fostering advice and help to settle those first-time nerves.
Our top 5 pieces of advice for becoming a foster carer are:
1. Be open and ask a lot of questions
Fostering is something that is going to make a huge difference to your life on a massive scale. It involves taking a child or young person into your family, and that is a really big responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.
If you’re thinking of fostering, first reach out to those around you including your family and close friends. Ask them what they think about you fostering, if they have worries or concerns, and if they’d be happy to support you throughout your journey. Knowing that you have a good support network around you is a great way to prepare to foster and will be really important as you tackle the various twists, turns, and challenges of your first year as a foster parent!
Another time to ask lots of questions is during the assessment process. This is a time for you to learn as much as you can about Fusion and about fostering in general. Being open and honest will make the entire application process much smoother and will mean we will be able to help match your specific skills to the type of fostering that will suit you the most.
2. Be organised
As with any new venture, organisation is key! Being organised will help to reduce stress during your application and first year and ensure that all of your plans go smoothly. Of course, parenting in general requires a good amount of organisational skills, but foster parents have an additional factor to consider – they must keep records, attend meetings with social workers, and work as part of the Fusion family. Brushing up on your organisational skills will help to keep you on top of your carer responsibilities.
3. Be patient
When you start looking into becoming a carer, you may be really excited to start your new journey and begin making a difference to children and young people’s lives in your area. This is great! However, remember that fostering is not an overnight job application and it can take a few months for you to be assessed, trained, and fully approved as a carer. Even after approval, it can take a while for Fusion to agree an appropriate match and for the child to come live with your family. This can be dependant on the type of care you are providing. Being patient is central to making the most out of your fostering career.
4. Don’t let setbacks get you down
Parenting is not an easy task and there will always be good days and bad days. When caring for a looked after child, they may also pose some challenging behaviours and take a little while to settle down. This can be really challenging, but being flexible, having a great sense of humour, and being open to change can help you counter any setbacks when life in fostering gets to you. Fostering is a journey, and not a race. Some days will be hard, but what you are doing is amazing and you will soon begin to benefit from the rewarding nature of the role.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional support
Safeguarding children is paramount and Fusion Fostering will always ensure all children placed in our care are safe and listened too. We couldn’t do that without the hard work and dedication of our amazing foster carers. The team at Fusion are here to support you completely within your role. If you feel that responsibilities are getting on top of you, or you just need some advice, then that’s what we are here for! Don’t be afraid to ask for additional training and support.
If you think you have what it takes to be a carer, then please get in touch with us. We are always keen to speak to those interested in joining the team and those who wish to transfer to us. Please give us a call on 03301 239 355 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.
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