The most common reason many people choose to foster is to support vulnerable young people at the time they need it most. However, there are lots of other benefits to fostering, from the flexibility it offers to the chance to share your valuable knowledge and develop your own learning and understanding.
WHAT IS FOSTER CARING?
Foster carers give children, young people, and adults in some situations, a loving, nurturing, supportive and stable home when they cannot live with their birth families or independently. This can be for a short period of time or until they become independent.
WHY BECOME A FOSTER CARER?
Becoming a foster carer and working with children and young people is one of the most rewarding things you can do:
- Be part of a professional support team.
Foster carers work as a part of a wider team of professionals to support a young person. This includes social workers, school workers, and healthcare professionals, who are all working together to help children overcome difficult circumstances and achieve their potential. You’ll give young people a voice, together with help and guidance when they really need it.
- Share your skills and experience.
Foster carers have a unique role in being able to share their skills and experience, whatever the age of the young people you’re looking after. Parent and child fostering, for example, lets you pass on your know-how to a young parent and helps to make what can be a stressful time a lot more enjoyable.
- Expand your own knowledge and understanding.
Fostering is also a learning experience for yourself, through intentional parenting you will find out new ways to help a young person cope with the trauma they have experienced and how to effectively help them manage day-to-day anxieties. And don’t forget we can also learn so much from listening and engaging with young people.
Foster carers work from home, so they can easily combine their role with other responsibilities. This could be taking care of their own children or a job. The level of support you’ll have to give your foster child depends on their individual needs, but when you sign up to a fostering agency, you’ll be able to choose the type of fostering that fits in best with your life and commitments, whether it’s a short or long-term placement.
- Financial support.
All foster carers are paid an allowance to help them buy food and clothing, and to cover the costs of looking after a young person. The amount carers receive depends on where you live and the complexity the children you’re looking after. Some foster carers might be paid an extra fee if they are looking after children with additional needs.
- 24/7 Support when required.
You’ll be supported throughout the entire journey in becoming a foster carer, right from the first moment you sign up. Before you become a foster carer for the first time, you’ll be given extensive training to give you the skills you need, and more training throughout the process. This can come from the other professionals involved in the young person’s care, as well as from support groups with other carers in your area.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FOSTERING?
Ascent Fostering is a therapeutic agency that has been supporting people to become foster carers for many years, we have incredible expertise within the organisation and over 30 years of experience in the field. Give us a call, drop us an email, or message us on social media to ask us anything about the process of becoming a foster carer. We’re very friendly and knowledgeable and can help you at every step along the way. If you would like to receive our brochure click here and we’ll get it out to you straight away.