Foster carers play a vital role within society that extends beyond just being a parent. In fact, foster carers are at the heart of children’s lives providing them with stability and working with a team of professionals to ensure that children under their care become a member of the family. Foster carers often deal with children who have come from traumatic backgrounds and who may be in need of emotional wellbeing support or mental health counselling.
In order to become a foster carer, you have to undergo pre-approval training and develop the necessary skills to further enhance and grow in order to best support a child. The skills range from professional development to ensuring you know how best to cater to the needs of the child that will be placed in your care.
Many foster carers have the position of informing the children under their care about their backgrounds and if had lost their parents tragically and are orphans some foster carers may have to talk to the children about who their parents were. If the birth parents are alive but unable to care for their children the foster carer will ensure that children have meetings with their birth parents and keep up the bond with them as much as possible and if safe to do so. Many foster carers have to work with other services such as social services and follow specific procedures and policies, in addition, to having regular meetings to discuss progress.
There are many foster carers who undergo different forms of training so that they are ready to be able to deal with issues such as speech and language or using play as a therapeutic means. If they are dealing with younger children they may have to teach them how to be potty trained or set rules on bed times to form a structure in place as they would if they were their own children.
Many children in care may also have additional needs which foster carers have to provide for and this is done sensitively and with professional support in place to assist the foster carer. Every foster carer puts the child’s needs first and relates records of information that may need to be passed on to the relevant person who can best help with a specific need.
As you can see there are a whole host of roles that foster carers play within a child’s life that is not just limited to being a parent. Care Day 2021 has just passed last week but let us all celebrate all the amazing foster carers there are in the UK and around the world who are doing an amazing job looking after, bringing love and stability to children in their care.