When a child enters foster care for the first time, or is moving to a new foster home, then they may be worried about where they are going and what will the people that are caring for them be like. This could be very stressful for them. Therefore, during the later stages of the assessment process to become a foster carer, UK Fostering will help you prepare a ‘foster carer family profile’.
The foster carer family profile can assist the child’s social worker to show the child where they are going to stay and to reassure them by describing you, your household and home environment – including photos! There will be some additional information included for the child’s social worker, but mostly will be geared towards a foster child.
Therefore, your foster carer family profile will be a bright, welcoming document designed to appeal to and reassure a child or young person.
In this profile you will have happy, smiley, welcoming photos of you, your children, any extended family that live with you, and any pets. Pets can sometimes be the most appealing thing for the child!
The profile with also have pictures and explanation of the communal rooms in the home, the front of your home, and any garden or outdoor space that you have. It will also show pictures of the fostering bedroom/s and explain to the foster child that this will be their bedroom whilst they are staying with you. You can also let them know that they can change the duvet cover etc. and put out their own belongings to make it ‘their space’.
It is also nice to include pictures of you and your family doing something fun, e.g., playing a game or on a day out, and you can invite the child or young person to join them in any further activities. You can also include examples of things to do in the local area, e.g., park, bowling, playground.
You will also be asked to write a short welcome message, introducing yourselves and your household including any pets. You can write a reassuring message for the child such as, that you are looking forward to meeting them and welcoming to your home etc.
This type of foster carer family profile can hopefully ease some of the initial concerns that a child or young person may have about where they are going to be living when they come into foster care. Although once the foster child arrives there is more that you can do to help them settle, but we will go through that with you too 😊