We spoke to one of our active carers and asked them “If you could speak to someone who is thinking about fostering, or transferring to us, what would you say?”. Here’s her answer:
Fostering is extremely rewarding, but can also be challenging. A child’s previous experiences of neglect, abuse, loss, or trauma can often mean a fostered child will show their anger, hurt, and confusion through their behaviour and have difficulties in relating to others.
Children in care need someone who can understand what they have been through, and provide them with the everyday things they may have missed out on; love, security, safety, warmth, fun.
Sometimes just to show an interest and be there for them.
As a foster carer, you can make a real difference to a child’s life, providing them with the nurturing home life they need to give them every chance of a happy childhood, and to go on and succeed in life.
In terms of skills, first and foremost, you have to have a sense of humour! Be non-judgmental, have lots of patience, and be able to turn the other cheek.
It can be challenging, as you are looking after children who have had no structure or routine.
Some have been in neglectful situations and have never done things we would take for granted, such as have settled routines, sitting at a table to eat a meal, or be taught to have socially acceptable behaviour.
It can sometimes be two steps forward and one back – but it is so rewarding. You instil confidence and self-esteem in children and put boundaries in place; but the real rewards are to see children who were initially so frightened and anxious become trusting, loving, and find enjoyment in their lives.
Through Nexus Fostering’s training and support they help you develop the skills and expertise to be the therapeutic parent a child needs.
Becoming a foster carer is a process that will provide you with many years of warm memories, rewarding challenges and a family tree that will grow throughout the years. This makes it the most rewarding job imaginable.