What do foster children require the most?

Are you interested in fostering? It is important to be aware what it means to be a foster carer and what the foster children that you will be caring for during your time as a carer require.

If you want to be a good foster carer, it is pivotal that you understand the reasons why foster children enter the care system and possess qualities such as commitment, resilience, dedication, honesty and kindness. It is extremely important that you understand the needs of the foster children you are caring for and are willing to support them.

But what are the key things foster children need from their foster carers?

  • Emotional support
  • Familiarity and structure
  • Honesty and transparency
  • Health and educational support

Emotional support

Many children in foster care struggle emotionally, whether that be due to suffering with low mood, anxiety or stress or having attachment or speech issues; foster children can react adversely to everyday challenges, making decisions or problems.

Beacon Fostering offers therapeutic support to our foster carers and foster children to help you provide emotional support to your foster child/children.

You can find out more about the training we offer by clicking the following link…  Support and training | Beacon Fostering

Familiarity and structure

Most people enjoy having familiarity within their life as it provides the feeling of safety and normality. It must be remembered that the majority of children in the foster care system have often come from chaotic environments and therefore need structure more than most.

For this reason, establishing a sense of structure is crucial for your foster child but it should be a collaborative process, focused on maintaining stability and consistency, to help them feel secure and comfortable.

Honesty and transparency

More than anything else, children need honesty and transparency about their situation. Condescending or patronising behavior, which can be perceived as sugar-coating the reality of their circumstances or treating them like children, is likely to spark resentment and anger instead of promoting healthy communication. It is absolutely crucial to create a safe and non-judgmental space where they feel heard and understood.

By actively listening to their stories and being open about their past, you can help them process and ultimately come to terms with their circumstances. Furthermore, being transparent about their birth family and facilitating contact can foster a deeper sense of trust and security, as it acknowledges the importance of their heritage and shows that you’re not trying to replace their biological or previous careers but instead give them the care and support that they require now.

Health and educational support

Foster children are no different from any child. Their health and education is pivotal for their future. As foster carers, you must support them with both their educational needs and their mental and physical well-being.

In terms of a child’s physical and mental well-being, many foster children may have faced a form of trauma or abuse. Social workers, agencies and specialist healthcare teams support carers with a child’s physical wellbeing. However, it’s the carer’s responsibility to take children to appointments. If you’re offered a placement for a child with complex physical needs, you’ll need to ensure that you have a flexible schedule that works around their healthcare plan.

Foster children share the same aspirations as all children: to achieve success, seize opportunities, and build a fulfilling career. However, their tumultuous home lives can hinder their progress, and the disruption of school changes and social adjustments can exacerbate feelings of insecurity. Moreover, they may face unwarranted stigma from peers due to their unique circumstances. To support these children academically, it’s essential to demonstrate your own passion for learning. Assisting with homework, embarking on educational outings, and encouraging participation in extracurricular activities. For teenagers in your care, you could consider guiding them through the process of creating a CV, job searching, and understanding taxes. By doing so, you can instill in them a sense of optimism and excitement about their future, which can be a powerful motivator for them to strive for success.

Interested in fostering? Do you have a spare room and believe you possess the skills required to be a foster carer? Foster with Beacon now! –>