One of the key tasks of any foster carer is to create a good environment for the child or young person, help them settle in, talk to them and listen to any concerns or ideas they have to make them comfortable in your home.
As you provide support for the young person, it is important that you create a support network for yourself, giving you the chance to talk to people about concerns or issues, gain advice or even just someone to go out with when you need a break.
The following should all be part of your support network:
Social workers are a great resource as they have many of the answers due to many years of helping and assisting foster carers. At Fostering Ltd we encourage our carers to make use of their social workers, we are at the end of the phone 24/7 and make regular visits. We also have information on the history of the child or young person and access to resources that can help going forward. Within or organisation we have over 28 years of being foster carers so most questions can be answered!
Friends and Family
Having friends and family that you can talk is also a good idea They can provide support, advice or just lend an ear. Family can also step in when you need a break, inviting you round for a meal or a barbecue allowing you time to put your feet up. As part of your assessment, we ask you to identify people within your friends or family who can be back-up carers when you may need a night off, so we can speak t them and involve them in your application.
Other foster parents
We encourage our new Foster carers to speak with existing carers as part of our mentoring scheme. We also offer regular coffee mornings and social events where our foster carers can get together on a regular basis. We have a foster carer led support group which has guest speakers and focuses on topics and issues suggested by the carers themselves.
We offer regular face-to-face training courses, as well a wide selection of on-line training courses that you can complete. These focus on topics such as safeguarding, Missing from Home, Substance Misuse, Attachment, Working with Birth Families, The Role of the carer and many, many more. We work closely with you to identify what training you need to ensure you can offer he best possible care to children placed with you.