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Roles & Responsibilities of Foster Parents
Foster care is a general term. It can mean different things to different people. The ultimate role of any foster parent is to care for a child or young person. But, what does ‘care’ actually mean. This is one of the most commonly asked questions when people think about becoming a foster carer.
When a child is placed in your care, they are your responsibility to look after, not just physically but in terms of helping them grow and develop too. Children may have complex needs that need to be catered for or they may even have health issues to take into consideration.
Many children will not have had a stable family life. They may be coming from a background where there is abuse, addiction or neglect. As such, a feeling of security and stability will be essential in rehabilitating them. It is your responsibility, as a carer, to provide a child with a place that they can call ‘home’. This is more than just a roof over their head, it’s a place where they are looked after and feel happy and comfortable.
Being displaced from your home and taken into care can be very traumatising for any child or young person. They will be surrounded by people they don’t know and in a foreign environment. The love and support provided by an understanding and reliable trustworthy adult is an invaluable asset a foster parent can provide to the well-being of the child. It will help them to settle and eventually grow and mature.
Any child you take on, if of age, must be enrolled in and attend a school. Education is a vital part of a child’s development. It is important that being taken into care doesn’t affect their learning. A foster parent must take an active interest in their foster child’s education.
It is your responsibility to ensure they have access to medical care when they need it and have adequate transport to get to and from appointments, be that a car or public transport services. Some children placed in care may also have disabilities that require medical attention.
Challenging behaviour can often be an issue with children in care. They may have had negative past experiences of being parented and not be used to responding to instructions. They may also be vulnerable or have had traumatic pasts. It is important that a carer is nurturing, patient and understanding and has a system in place to handle difficult behaviour to help the child deal with their situation.
The ultimate goal of foster care is to temporarily look after a child until they can return to their birth parents (if feasible). Therefore, a foster parent must promote healthy contact between the foster child and their family and work with the placing local authority care plan to ensure contact is maintained and managed appropriately.
You are not alone as a foster carer. You will work together with your SSSW to manage all aspects of the child’s fostering journey. You will need to attend meetings about the foster child to ensure they are receiving the correct care for their unique situation. You will also need to be a team player who is happy to keep records and manage confidential information.
Fostering is a learning process. You will always be faced with new challenges as no two children will be alike! Fusion Fostering provides ongoing training and support including specialist training events. It will be your responsibility to ensure you are interested in improving your skills and becoming the best foster carer you can be, really making a difference to many children’s lives.
Sound like you have what it takes? Whether you’re already experienced or completely new, Fusion Fostering can help you on your journey. We provide full training and support to help you care for those in need.
Contact Fusion Fostering today to start your application process.