Becoming a foster carer is always going to bring change into your life. Lots of these changes will be easy to adapt to, but a few may demand some resilience too. The truth is, there is a lot to learn when you start any new job, and foster care is no different. You will have lots to learn and there will be a big push on getting yourself, your family, and your home ready for the first placement. So, here are five big things you need to know before the foster child arrives.
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Foster Carers Need to Be Resilient
Resilience is always a good trait for any foster carer. There are lots of things in life that call for strength, and caring for foster children is one of them. Yet, the resilience that you will grow will enhance every aspect of your life, so it’s important to keep things through a positive lens because it is a great thing! From the very minute when you meet your new foster child, you will need boundaries, confidence, and the ability to face whatever comes your way, and these are all exciting things to pursue.
How Much You’ll Get Paid
Every foster carer receives a fostering allowance. What you earn depends on who you foster with. Some carers opt for local authority care and others choose to work with private agencies. The allowance varies depending on who you foster with, but it still helps to know how much you will be remunerated for the role. This will help you plan for the child and ensure that you are able to meet any financial needs relating to their care. For instance, they may need a new set of clothes here and there and this is what the allowance is there to cover.
You Will Need to Be Flexible
There are lots of different fostering circumstances. It can be a tricky situation for both the foster child and their family members, and you will need to be flexible in how you make the arrangement happen. Emotions may be high, tension might be stretched and everyone will need a calm presence to ensure a smooth visit as far as that is possible. Flexibility is invaluable as a foster carer, and knowing how to maintain it will be extremely beneficial.
Your House Will Change
The final truth is that your house is about to change in quite a big way. Welcoming another person into your family home will always bring shifts in routine, rhythm, and the general vibe you’ve become so accustomed to. Yet, this change will come with positive things like helping a child who needs it and taking on a professional role that makes a real difference in people’s lives. Routines are there to be shaken up, after all, so there is a real opportunity here in embracing the unknown for a good cause.
Becoming a foster carer means you have to learn a few things before you finish your training. There are always myths around, but the real stuff is what’s important.