Some Carers got together to use their collective experience to compile this list.
Unfortunately – unless you’ve been one yourself – it can be very difficult to imagine yourself in a foster carer’s shoes. Even though every individual case is going to be unique, We thought it would be handy to offer some general pointers as to what we foster carers wish others knew.
1. We aren’t in it for the money
It shouldn’t need to be said, but many still believe that we only do what we do for financial gain. In truth, we are reimbursed very little money for our caring duties. I think the best way to put it is I don’t do it for the money but I couldn’t do it without it.
2. Be careful with what you say
Many foster children and their carers are frequently met with inappropriate questions, such as “When are you giving them up?” and “They aren’t your real children, though, are they?” It’s hurtful for the child and the carer, so please think before you speak.
3. Don’t speculate about the parents
On a similar note, you should never make derogatory statements about the parents of the child; remember that no one chooses to be born into certain circumstances. You wouldn’t like it if someone speculated about your own parents, would you?
4. It’s complicated
The emotions and thought processes surrounding our work can be complex at the best of times. For example, many assume that the child being cared for will be unbelievably grateful for their foster carer, but this often isn’t the case. Remember – a foster child has had to give up everything. Even if their life was fairly negative before, it can still be a jarring experience.
5. Fostering is a totally normal thing
Remember; fostering is life-changing for the person receiving the care, but it’s important that you remember that taking care of children in need is an ordinary, vital thing – we aren’t saints for performing a basic human function. We just care
6. It’s unbelievably difficult
No matter how prepared you are, fostering can be heartbreakingly difficult at times. Even the most adaptive and loving of carers are going to struggle occasionally. Which brings us to our next point…
7. We need support too
Finally, it’s vital that you offer support to any of the foster carers that you may know; anything from offering to babysit to supporting local anti-poverty charities can make a world of difference for us, the child, their family and the community.
If this list has made you think that you could be in this for the right reasons then give us a call or contact us.