At UK Fostering we frequently get asked about the specific skills and experience needed to become a foster carer. Here is some useful information to help you answer these queries.
Do I need experience with children to become a foster carer?
As with anything in life, experience is greatly important. The more experience you have, the more you have to reflect upon and in many cases, the more confidence you feel in different situations, all of which are greater evidence of being a suitable applicant for fostering.
However, we do recognise that everybody needs to start somewhere. There is always a reason why people want to foster and this will generally involve a direct experience with children in some way.
What we are looking to find out is the level of experience you have, either with your own children, professionally, or with children in your extended family or group of friends. We can then determine if you have the necessary skills to foster.
Do I need qualifications to become a foster parent?
You don’t necessarily need to have qualifications in childcare to be considered as a foster carer. Fostering is a professional endeavour which uses personal skills and experiences and complements them with professional and perhaps more ‘therapeutic’ strategies and understanding.
How do I know if I have the skills to foster?
UK Fostering hosts a variety of training sessions including our ‘Skills to Foster’ course which must be completed before you can be approved as a foster carer. Whatever your level of understanding, there is always more to learn and opportunities for future training should be taken seriously. We think the desire to grow and learn as a foster carer is extremely important in order to be an effective carer.
Am I the right kind of person to become a foster carer?
Foster carers are ordinary people who have a special interest in helping children and their families. They need to be patient, empathetic and able to understand the feelings of children who have been experiencing a crisis in their life. As well as the core skills to foster, a good sense of humour is often needed, as is an appreciation of life and a belief in the positive qualities of children and young people. If these qualities sound like you, then you may be the right kind of person to foster a child or young person.