There is no denying that people come to foster care because they feel a deep desire to help children and young people to enjoy a family life that they may be able to with their birth families. Modern foster carers are not only answering a need but creating a career too.
Modern foster care looks very different in many ways to the informal fostering process at the turn of the 20th Century.
But the basis of fostering remains the same – to offer a child the love, care and attention that they need to thrive at a time when their own birth family or parents are unable to do so.
We live in a very different world today, with different pressures. What we do have is an improved understanding of how we can help children and young people to thrive when their main caregivers are not their birth parents.
This has not happened by accident. It has happened with committed foster carers and foster agencies working together to create a better fostering placement system. Professionals from all walks of life have contributed to making modern foster care both a vocation and a career.
Training and progression
All foster carers start their fostering careers in the same way – initial foster care training.
This initial foster training looks at the process of fostering, what is involved and covers the ‘basics’ of being a foster carer. It may be standard practice, but there is nothing ‘standard’ about the course. It equips foster carers with the skills and knowledge needed to start their fostering career.
Fostering is a delicate balancing act, a process complicated by the fact that children in care bring their own unique vision of the world around them.
From attachment disorder to dealing with untold abuse, how a child reacts to the fragmented start in life is different from one child to another.
And it is for this reason that foster carers have the opportunities to undertake additional training in terms of knowledge and in relation to a specialist, therapeutic foster care too.
Knowledge is understanding, something that in the world of foster care is incredibly important. Patience, perseverance, commitment and tolerance are just four ingredients of a successful foster placement.
Fostering agencies offer a range of knowledge-based training courses. For example, a foster carer will need expanded knowledge of child protection and what it means in practice.
There will also be times that there challenging behaviors to deal with as well as working with children who have been abused, and the support they will need to process and adjust after the trauma.
Helping young people into adulthood and move on from care may be something that you wish to do or work with foster children to make the most of their education, something that some children find difficult when dealing with trauma from their past.
There are other knowledge-based foster training opportunities, all of which help the children you foster but advance your career too.
Therapeutic foster training
There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests when foster carers are trained in a therapeutic foster care approach, children benefit enormously.
For example, working with children who have been sexually abused raises difficult questions and behaviors that a specialist foster care can work with.
From attachment disorder to self-harm, there are many reasons why therapeutic foster carers are needed but central to it all is making a difference in the life of a foster child.
Could you offer a home and the love that a child needs, alongside therapeutic interventions that are known to work?
Foster Care Associates offer a superb package of training opportunities to its foster carers. From one day course to therapeutic foster care training, why not find out more by completing their online contact form?