5 top tips from a new foster carer
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These top 5 tips from Vicky, one of our new foster carers, give you an insight into what fostering can be like during the first year.Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
No one gets everything right.Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s actually seen as a strength. As a foster carer, you’re part of a team, who are all working to the best interests of the child. With a dedicated social worker, there’s always someone to call on for help or advice.
Know that becoming a foster family is an adjustment for everyone.As nervous as you are about becoming foster carers, the children are probably ten times more nervous than you, without the skills to communicate how they are feeling. When introducing new routines and structure, go slowly until everyone is used to them.
Foster carers can have fun!Having a sense of humour is a great way of coping with everyday life and issues. All children deserve to laugh and live amongst fun.
Find ways to break the ice“We are often asked, can I foster if I have pets?” Vicky said “actually, a pet is a great icebreaker. Walking a dog is a great way to get the kids out. They tend to open up more, when we are not talking face to face”. If you don’t have a pet, try to find other opportunities to talk. Car journeys can be a good time.
Don’t forget about yourself!People talk about self-care and I didn’t realise how important it is. Even though you are a Foster Carer, you are still allowed to have fun, meet friends go out for a meal. You need to make time for friends, and create a support network (foster carer forums are a great place for this). This has been a valuable lesson for me.
When asked if she thinks they made the right decision to foster, Vicky said “well at our next review, we’re going to ask if we can foster an additional child”…enough said – we’ll take that as a yes!
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