They can help you through the initial process
The initial process is one aspect of becoming a foster carer that fills people with dread. The process starts with the initial expression of interest, incorporates the application, home visits and ends with a meeting in front of an independent panel that will make the final decision as to whether you will become an approved foster carer.
Talking to existing carers can take some of this away as they will explain what the process is really like and how they found the panel, offering advice on how to approach the different aspects of the process.
No fostering placement is the same, but other carers may have had experiences of similar situations that you are facing.
Other carers can also give tips and advice about what they do to prepare bedrooms or what kind of things they do to make the young people conformable on that difficult first night.
There may be occasions where carers need to arrange respite care for young people they have in placement. This can be for many reasons including hospital/medical treatment, family emergencies, holidays etc. Having a good relationship with other carers can make this process easier by allowing young people to have introductions to any respite carers they may stay with. Some of our carers see each other socially on a regular basis so have already got to know young people in placement.
Understanding and empathetic
While family and friends are an important part of your support network, advice and support from other carers will be invaluable.
They will have had the same fears and concerns as you and talking to someone with their level of knowledge and experience will be really beneficial.
At Fostering Ltd there are many opportunities to meet up with other carers. Our face to face training sessions, our coffee morning and other special events and our annual summer picnic. To see a gallery of some of our previous event see here: http://www.fosteringltd.co.uk/events.ht