Fostering is both a vocation and a career. It is a calling that many people have to provide a loving home to a child who needs it.
But is it also a skill being a foster carer and with this in mind, you may wonder what career progression opportunities there are.
Getting the most out of fostering
Training is part of the extensive support package that a fostering agency offers its carers and families.
Foster carers with specific skills mean that the fostering agency has wider resources and specialisms to call on to help children who need to live with a foster family.
Some foster carers want to expand their skill set to make them better carers while some go on to offer specialist placement, working with specific foster children to prepare them for life ahead.
Fostering agencies offer different training courses to their foster carers, dependent on the fostering services they offer.
There are many opportunities such as;
- Child protection – This is an important part of being a foster carer and an understanding current guidelines and regulations is essential.
- Managing difficult behaviour is something that all foster carers will have to do from time to time. This course would look at how to manage behaviour in a positive way.
- Life story work is an intervention in which children can recognise their past, present, and their future too. Foster carers will often complete this work with foster children who are awaiting adoption.
- Education of fostered children can present additional concerns, especially support for their behaviour as well as engagement in the learning process.
- Steps to adulthood is important for older foster children who will soon become adults. Although fostering finishes at the age of 18, fostered children need help to adjust beyond this time too. Foster carers specialise in offering placements to young people before they leave care.
There are many other training opportunities too but which ones appeal to you?
Therapeutic foster care
When a child arrives at your doorstep, you begin the long process of getting to know each other.
From this familiarity, a foster child will begin to trust you. And this is an important springboard from which you and your foster child can begin to explore past issues, acknowledging them and helping the child move on but at their own pace.
To do this, foster carers offer therapeutic foster care, a process by which a carer gently and carefully deals with issues when a child wants to explore them.
There are many career opportunities to explore in this field too, such as;
- Attachment disorder is a complex issue that is displayed in different ways. When the primary caregiver is absent, emotionally or physically, in the first few years of life, a child can have difficulty forming appropriate attachments.
- Responding to complex trauma is also a specialist therapeutic approach in which foster carers walk alongside children and young people to process traumas in their past.
- Responding to sexually harmful behaviour requires tactful approach, backed by knowledge of why this happens and how it can be changed.
- Reflective and therapeutic practice will mean a change in how you think and approach things too and so a course that looks at the practical approach to this kind of fostering.
Fostering is a career
And a specialist one at that!
Children in foster care need different levels of support, and different kinds of interventions, at various times in their lives.
A rewarding career choice, many foster carers take advantage of the various training opportunities open to them.
Is fostering something that attracts you? Do you have what it takes to make a difference?
Foster Care Associates is a well-known fostering agency offering unrivalled opportunities to foster carers to develop and advance their career.