If you are considering starting your fostering journey you might be wondering what the role of a foster carer is. There are many different types of foster care. Some of our foster carers will look after children and young people in emergencies, others might care for children on a short-term basis but many of our foster carers provide longer-term care for our children.
Essentially the role of a foster carer is to provide a child or young person with care, day-to-day. They are providing love, comfort, food, clothing, warmth and time. Our foster carers are also expected to advocate on behalf of their child or young person by supporting their education, positive health care, social well-being and promoting the child's own culture, religion and race.
Throughout our foster carers' journey, they are never alone. They all work closely with their allocated Supervising Social Workers to manage all the aspects of the child's journey. Our foster carers also attend meetings about the children in their home, this also includes keeping written records and managing information that is confidential.
How do our foster carers advocate for a child's education?
Our foster carers play an important role in promoting their children's and young people's education and providing a learning environment for them within the family home. Our foster carers are there to help their young person express any concerns, advocate on their behalf and support them to achieve their education goals. Our foster carers must take an active interest in their child or young person's education.
How do our foster carers support contact with family?
Ultimately, the goal of foster care is to temporarily look after the child or young person until they can return to their birth parents (if practical). It is important that our foster carers promote healthy contact between their foster children and their birth families, as set out in their placement plan.
All contact arrangements should be shaped around and focused on the child's needs. Our Supervising Social Workers, work closely with all our foster carers to give them practical advice and support.
Are foster carers required to attend any training?
Training starts prior to being approved as foster carers. During the assessment process, anyone who is preparing to become a foster carer will receive training to build upon the skills they have and develop new skills needed to foster. Once approved, our foster carers are expected to develop their knowledge. All our children are different so it's our responsibility to ensure that our foster carers are improving their skills and are able to understand and recognise different behaviours and strategies to support their child or young person.
Our foster carers are a group of fabulously varied people, there is no ‘perfect’ person we look for. There are many misconceptions about becoming a foster carer. The truth is, you can foster a child or young person whether you're married or single, no matter your race, religion, gender or sexuality. Whether you are a homeowner or renting, have children of your own or have no experience at all!
The only thing you need to be considered to start your fostering journey is, to be over the age of 25, have a spare bedroom and have the space in your heart to love another child. Most children in care lack the positive family experience that most of their peers would have, but all it takes is one person, a person like you, to make a difference.
* All our carers are paid above the Fostering Network Payment Guidelines.
(Made to each fostering household with a placement).