Preparing to Foster

Adjusting to life as a foster carer: what to expect

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the practical and emotional considerations of adjusting to life as a foster carer.

Becoming a foster carer will change your life. As you welcome a foster child into your home, it’s important to be prepared for the adjustments you’ll undertake.

On a practical level, you may have to make changes to your home. That’s so that you can create a welcoming, safe and structured environment. This may involve setting up a dedicated bedroom, childproofing your home and establishing routines for meals, bedtimes and activities.

Beyond the practical preparations, the emotional journey of fostering can be both rewarding and demanding. Foster children have often experienced trauma, loss or instability, which can lead to complex behaviour and emotional needs.

As a foster carer, you may need to develop extra patience, understanding and emotional strength to help the child feel safe and secure. It’s important to be prepared for potential challenges, such as attachment issues, challenging behaviour or feelings of loss and grief.

You can benefit from building a strong support network. This may include connecting with other foster carers, joining support groups, and seeking counselling or therapy when needed.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is also crucial, as it allows you to recharge and avoid burnout. Set boundaries, take regular breaks, and engage in self-care activities to promote your own well-being.

Adjusting to life as a foster carer can take time, but can be a life-changing, transformative experience that makes any challenges ultimately worthwhile.