What is a Foster Carer? - Changing Futures Fostering
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What is a Foster Carer?

At Changing Futures Fostering, we use the term foster parent, as that is what we believe a foster carer is, a parent who looks after or ‘fosters’ a child that is biologically not their own. In doing so, they create a bond with that child equivalent to that of a parent and child. They become both their physical guardian and, hopefully, their emotional guardian, offering guidance and support to help them grow into a strong-minded, independent young adult.

Children in foster care often have a bad start in life, often having to deal with some really tough stuff, including neglect and emotional, physical or sexual abuse. This is why it is crucial that a foster parent is understanding, caring and patient, as past trauma can often make foster children scared and unpredictable as they come to terms with the things that have happened to them. When a child is unable to be safely looked after by their own parents or relatives, kind-hearted foster carers step in to provide them with a secure and loving home. Sometimes this means taking children away from their parents against their will, which can be challenging for children to deal with, even though it’s essential for their safety. This is where caring, open arms, and love are vital, even if not initially reciprocated by the child in your care.

How do you become a foster parent?

Anyone can be a foster parent! Your gender, experience or lack of religion, ethnicity, age, social background or sexual orientation doesn’t matter, especially not to us! There are a few general requirements, including having one or more available bedrooms and consistent access to a car, which you can find out about here. There is an assessment process and training which ensures both foster child and foster parent safety, and also, we have the right information to ensure the perfect match!

What do Foster Carers do?

The main responsibility of a foster carer is to provide a child with a nurturing, loving, safe environment in which they can grow and develop. This involves both emotional and physical support to make sure they feel heard and loved, enabling their development into young adults. By giving a loving and stable home to a child or young person, you are putting in place the building blocks that will help them in their transition to adulthood. This requires appropriate boundaries, patience and a lot of love, and together you’ll get there! Being a foster parent isn’t a sprint; it’s more of a marathon filled with bursts of energy and exhaustion, but it’s more than worth it in the end!

At Changing Futures Fostering, we’re all about providing our foster parents with the support they need to really make a difference in a vulnerable child’s life. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you on your fostering journey, send us an email at admin@changingfuturesne.co.uk to talk to our brilliant fostering team! Or, feel free to call us on 01429 363 127.