5 Basic Skills That A Foster Carer Needs To Have

Foster care goes beyond just being a professional commitment; it is a responsibility to nurture a child by giving them love, care and a balanced environment to grow and thrive. Furthermore, it represents your commitment to the community and society as a whole. When you opt for foster parenting as a career, you need to understand that you should have certain skills to, make you a good fit. While some of these skills are inborn, others are to be inculcated as a preparation for this career. Let us list some basic skills that a carer needs to have.


To start with, communication skills are the mainstay of successful foster care relationships. When you do decide to explore this territory, you need to meet social workers, agencies, legal professionals and counsellors. Further, you will also have to communicate with the children and their biological parents before and during the arrangement. Good communication skills, therefore, can be of great help in conveying your concerns and understanding the expectations of the others.


Another skill that you must possess to breeze through your fostering journey is empathy. A majority of these children come from troubled families and have challenging pasts. This is the reason that they might be difficult to handle. Being empathic enables you to understand their mindset and past problems. You will be able to accept them with ease and work towards resolving them. It also helps you to align with the stress and pressure of raising a difficult child as a part of the arrangement.


Complete knowledge of foster care arrangements is also needed to handle the complexities it involves. You can pursue a training program to address knowledge gaps. Lisa Witter from PerpetualFostering.co.uk explains that training and certification programs are available through Perpetual Fostering for parents that want to earn care qualifications. These qualifications are helpful for carers looking to make fostering a career or anyone hoping to pursue work in teaching, nursing, or social work.


Patience is more of an inborn virtue rather than a skill but it can play a significant role in making you a successful foster parent. It will help you at every stage of the journey; from handling all the legal aspects of the arrangement to coping with the challenges of behavioural issues and adjustment problems of the child in your home. Further, it is also much needed if you have your own children to handle.


While patience and empathy matter for successful fostering, so does assertiveness. You should be able to create boundaries and rules and ensure that the child sticks to them. This skill will also enable you to manage the child’s behaviour in a positive way so that he or she grows up to be a well-balanced and responsible individual. It will help you in building a disciplined environment in your home.

These essential skills go a long way in making you a successful foster carer. You can gradually cultivate them with time and experience. Also, being adaptable and open to learning more skills are the qualities that will make your parenting journey easy.

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