Being a foster carer is not often a walk in the park. It can be a very challenging care role that will often require a lot from you, both emotionally and physically. Not only that, but another person or people who are vulnerable will be relying on you for everything. Because of this, it is important to make sure that you are a good fit for being a foster carer and that you can determine that being a foster carer is the right role for you.
This piece will help you think about some important questions that can help you understand your answer to that question.
What Are Your Expectations?
Understanding what your expectations are is an important starting point for considering foster care. You might have a romanticized version in your head about how your foster children will behave, but it is important to remember that many could be coming from a particularly rough background, could be frightened, angry, and not even want to be in your house. Understanding this before you sign up to be a foster carer can help you deal with some of the situations you might find yourself in. It can either make you realize that being a foster parent might not be right for you, or it could give you a more realistic understanding of what might lie ahead that you know you are prepared to accept.
What Are Your Skills?
As a foster carer, you will benefit from having quite the skill tool kit, though some are more important than others. It is most important that you are kind, understanding, have a great deal of patience, and are resilient. No one knows what lies ahead of any placement, and some can be more difficult than others, especially if the foster child appears ungrateful for your efforts. Having that empathy and understanding will be vital in making them as comfortable as possible and knowing what the best approach might be for each individual – as no two cases will be the same.
Resilience should also be an important factor in your decision-making, as sometimes you will have difficult times. You might have things taken out on you that are not your fault or even be physically and verbally abused. Not taking things personally will be a key part of your success in being a foster parent. If you are ready for the rewarding challenge, then take a look at a fostering agency in Wales for more information.
What Support Do You Have?
As with many care roles, the more support, the better.
If you have a strong support system such as friends or family members that you can vent to or get advice from, this can help to cope with a particularly difficult situation much more easily. You could even have a therapist or attend a support group for those who are foster parents, which can be very beneficial for sharing experiences, tips, and support with each other.
It is important that you are able to look after yourself because you deserve to, and so you can be the best foster carer you can be.