It was worrying to read in the news this week that ‘Over a quarter of adoptive families in crisis’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41379424), but it was also heartening to read that most of the adoptive families surveyed said they were glad they had adopted.
There is no doubt that both adoption and fostering has challenges, and it is imperative that people entering the world of caring for a child in care are prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that may confront them. Children who come into care sometimes come from extremely troublesome experiences and the trauma they suffer impacts on who they are and how they behave. It makes sense therefore that carers entrusted with their care are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide them with a safe and stable home life.
I suppose the advantage of fostering is that the training and support for carers continues throughout the child’s placement. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many adopted children as parental responsibility passes in its entirety to the adoptive parents. Fostered children remain the responsibility of the state and therefore there is a duty of care upon local authorities and social workers to provide continuous support to fostering families.
As a fostering agency, we recognise the importance of training and support for our carers. Fostering children with complex needs can be extremely rewarding, but also daunting. The feelings of isolation when dealing with a child who is ‘kicking off’ can be overwhelming. Foster carers need confidence in their support system. They need to feel informed and understand the behaviour before them.
Fortunately, such support and training is available to those carers who are committed to providing the best care possible. Fostering to Inspire recognise and provide high quality training and ensure all carers become specialist therapeutic carers. Understanding a fostered child’s inner-self and offering acceptance and empathy goes a long way to helping a child’s journey of recovery.
Working with others in the same situation can be extremely empowering and dampens feelings of despondency and isolation. Connecting foster carers together, offering mentoring and time to reflect on events at regular intervals stabilises placements and reduces the risk of breakdown. Social interaction between foster carers and fostered children builds a community and sense of belonging.
This is an aspiration of Fostering to Inspire – as an agency we believe we are different and would welcome enquiries from new or existing foster carers who would like to foster within a supportive community.
For more information Email Us – firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01924 792184
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