There is no one type of person who makes a good foster carer. However, certain experiences, skills and abilities are essential.
With the number of children coming into care at an all time high we urgently need more foster carers to come forward. Fostering may be unlike anything you have ever done before. Although it can be a challenging role, it can also be very rewarding as you see the children grow and develop after a difficult start in life. In some situations they may go home when their situation has improved or be moved on to permanent family and foster carers play a vital role in making this happen.
We welcome enquiries from
- Anyone aged 21 or over
- Single people
- Couples (Married/Living together/Same sex/Civil partnership)
- Black/White/Any culture
- Religious or don't follow a religion
- Home owners or tenants
- Employed or unemployed (as long as available for children)
Who can't foster? We are not able to accept applications from people who have
- An offence against children
- A serious criminal record
- Serious mental health or other significant health issues
- Dangerous pets (e.g. American Pitbull, Japanese Tosa)
- A lack of bedroom space
- or people who smoke, if fostering children under five
What personal qualities are we looking for?
We're looking for people with a mature outlook who are realistic and can offer positive experiences to our children in care to help them thrive and grow into the people they're destined to be.
Some qualities are the same as those asked of any parent. Some, however, are different and come with parenting a child/children not born to you. Some children will have experienced trauma and separation from their birth family. Some will have had many different carers.
What does a foster carer need to be able to do?
- Provide a safe, healthy and nurturing home for a child
- Demonstrate personal warmth to adults and children
- Work with us to implement a plan for the child/ren they are caring for (which is likely to involve contact with parents and others who are important to the child)
- Value diversity and ensure the child/ren are encouraged to have a positive understanding of their origins, religion and culture
- Understand other people's points of view and feelings, and to be sensitive to others
- 'Stand back' from problems and be flexible in resolving them
- Enable children and young people who are moving on, to do so in a positive manner
- Understand normal child development
- Listen to and communicate with children
- Manage children's behaviour with appropriate boundaries without the use of physical or other inappropriate punishment
- Sustain supportive relationships with family, friends and the community
- Use training and supervision to improve their own skills
- Value a child's history and it's importance to them
- Recognise their own limitations and to ask for and accept help
If you think you could care for some of these children then don't hold back. Give us a call on 0115 876 3335 and we will invite you to an information meeting where you can have your questions answered, meet other foster carers and hear more about the children who need new homes.
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