Many people ask what do you need to become a good foster carer. Do I need a big house? Do I need copious amounts of cash? Do I need a big 4×4? Do I need to be qualified? Do I need to have children of my own? Do I need a partner?
These are questions we get asked a lot when people inquire about becoming a foster carer for Ascent, and although there are some mandatory requirements to become a foster carer, such as having a spare bedroom, what it actually takes to be a “good” foster carer is much simpler.
The Beatles said it best – all you need is love.
Being able to give a child unconditional and stable love is the simple foundation that is needed for a looked after child. Many of the children and young people in foster care have experienced trauma in some form or another and speak of the importance of being loved, feeling loved and being valued and supported.
Countless studies have shown that giving a child love vastly contributes to healthy development – resulting in life-long positive outcomes. Child Trends studies highlight that higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better communication and fewer psychological and behaviour problems have been linked to children who encounter warmth and affection from adults in their lives.
The question that comes up frequently is ‘How can I love a child who isn’t biologically mine?’, the answer – love is choice, a decision you make despite your feelings and emotions and to go against the instincts you will be challenged with. It’s an action and a commitment to saying that no matter what I face, I will still continue to love.
We have all heard the saying ‘love conquers all’, and when you are or do decide to become a foster carer, love is what will help your young person thrive into the best person they can be. Being a foster carer is the opportunity to introduce a love that many children may not have come across before. A love that is patient, kind, consistent, understanding, stern, with boundaries and isn’t conditional.
Here at Ascent Fostering, we make sure that love is at the heart of each family and this Valentine’s Day we wanted to bring forth the message of love and the importance it holds in foster care.
Share the love, spread the love. Always
If you would like to find out more about how to become a foster carer, please get in touch with us and one of our team members will be happy to speak with you. Click here for further information.