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Foster care. The challenges and the rewards

 The difference between foster care, parenting and adoption

 

Foster Care, Parenting and Adoption 

Providing foster care for a child has a lot in common with caring for a child as a parent, but being a foster carer is different to being a parent in some important  respects:

  • At the outset, you will obviously know far less about the child's likes, dislikes, worries, skills, attributes, personality and their prior life experience than you would with any own child
  • As a foster carer, you will be working as part of a "team around the child".
  • Most foster children need extra support to help them to catch up and overcome the effects of earlier troubled life experiences.. 

There are various different ways of providing foster care.  As a foster carer, you could provide a child with a home for an emergency, or short term period or on  long term or permanent basis, or you could help  a parent or another foster carer by providing respite care.

The main difference between fostering and adoption is to do with the legal arrangements. As a foster carer you do not acquire the legal parental responsibility for the child, whereas adoptive carers gain legal parental responsibility for their adoptive child following the making of an adoption order.                        

Foster Care: A unique blend of challenge and reward

Fostering can be both challenging and rewarding.

When considering fostering, it can be helpful to think about three main areas of challenge:

  • The challenge of building a positive relationship with a new child and tailoring your child care approach to best meet the child's unique individual needs.                                                                  
  • The challenge of working as  part of a team and in circumstances where other people make the key decisions about the child that you care for. 
  • The need to extend your existing child care skills to the highest possible level.

Fostering can also be  extremely rewarding..   

It can obviously be very satisfying to watch a child begin to thrive and prosper in your care, to see that a sad child is now happy and smiling again and to know that you have made a real difference to their lives.  

The reality

Some of the child who are referred for foster care have very high level needs  and need very specialised forms of care to meet their needs but most  referred children have individual needs that respond well to good, wholesome, warm, stimulating, nurturing, family based care.

Some children  find it difficult to settle in foster carer for a variety of reasons. Some children settle better with some foster carers than others. Occasionally,we have to move a child to different foster carers before they really settle, but most foster placements that our fostering agency makes work out very well for the children and our foster carers. 

When we ask the children in our care about their experience of living with our foster carers, we generally get a very positive response from all of them.

Fostering is not right for everyone - but most people who join our service stay the course, really enjoy their new careers as foster carers and get a whole lot of personal satisfaction out of helping children. Most of our foster carers have been with us for a good long time.

Foster care works best and carers enjoy most success if there is a good match between the child's needs and the carer's skills and qualities and when foster carers receive really good personalised support from their fostering agency.

If you genuinely want to help children, meet the basic criteria and  are open to new learning, then we could enable you to enjoy to this level of success too.

To find out more about teaming up with Family Placement,
contact us or just give us a call on 01993 706925

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familyplacement.com
Head Office: 85 High Street, Witney, Oxon OX28 6HY
Tel: 01993 706925 Fax: 01993 706926