What Makes a Great Foster Carer?

eRecruit Solutions discusses what makes a great Foster Carer

A stable and secure upbringing is quite possibly the most important aspect of a child’s life. It is vital that children who require care can be partnered with suitable carers as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Whether people have wanted to foster for years but not gotten around enquiring or have only just begun to consider it, there are plenty of families out there eager to welcome new children into their homes. So how can you be sure which ones are ideal to begin the screening process with?

Motivation:

The most crucial thing to find out from potential foster carers is there reasons for becoming one. Looking at what stage they are in their lives can give you a good indication. Have their children all flown the nest but they are still keen to nurture children? Perhaps they have a small family that they wish to add to. Whatever the reason, it is important that they feel foster caring will benefit them as well as benefitting the child. This will ensure the

Time and Effort:

As with caring for any child, this is a job that will see the potential career in constant demand. Whether  it’s a late night A&E trip they’re needed for or a Saturday football match – someone with too many prior commitments won’t be ideal. It’s best to find somebody with a flexible lifestyle, or someone who is willing to adopt one.

Experience with Children:

Foster carers don’t necessarily have to be parents already themselves, nor do they need to have worked with children. However, experience with children is key. Foster children need to put into households with carers that are ready to take on a parent role. Unlike normal parenting, the parents cannot grow into their role as the child goes from infant to toddler etc. They could be caring for say, an eight year-old or a teenager. Spending time with child relatives or children of friends and being in family environments where kids are present is crucial for the development of a parent-child dynamic.

Caring Personality:

As well as enjoying the company of children, it’s important that potential carers have a caring and selfless nature in general. The children that come to them need to feel safe and settled in their new environment, and feeling comfortable around their carers is the best way for this to be achieved.

Robust:

Foster care can be emotionally draining. The children coming into foster homes are doing so because of previous troubles, which will continue to affect them. The results of this can be difficult behaviour or reluctance to bond with the foster family. To deal with this takes a lot of patience and understanding. Moreover, some children will inevitably move on to pastures new, leaving behind the foster family they may have been living with for sometimes years. This means that foster parents will have to face upheaval when saying goodbye to a child – all very tough things to cope with.

All these factors make vital screening criteria for the recruitment of foster carers. eRecruit Solutions screen fostering candidates of their suitability before sending them to agencies – saving a huge amount of time.