Skills to foster

Posted on Tuesday 25th January 2022
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If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer, there is a range of skills that you should have in order to be the best foster carer that you can be.

Some skills can be picked up by attending information and training sessions, as you can learn the best way to deal with specific situations a foster carer could find themselves in.

Other skills come more naturally, and you may already have a lot of the skills required to become a great foster carer.

Let’s take a look at what we consider the top skills you need to be a foster carer with Foster For Staffordshire:

Build & maintain natural relationships with others

The skill to build and maintain a natural relationship with a foster child is an important part of being a foster carer.

Young people in foster care need to form a natural relationship with their foster carer, so the bond feels authentic. If the relationship doesn’t feel natural for the young person, then they may not be as open and trusting as they could be, which is an essential part of the fostering process.


To be self-aware means to be aware of your own feelings, skill-set and limitations, and this is a vital skill to becoming a successful foster carer.

Without knowing how you feel and what you’re good at, you may find it difficult to provide young people in your care with what they need.

If you do know your own limitations and skills, then you know what you can improve on yourself, and what you may need to ask others for help for. Knowing who you are will certainly make you a better foster carer.

Show genuine love and care

We regard the ability to love and care for people as a key skill to being a Foster For Staffordshire foster carer.

If you show love and care for the child you’re fostering, then other skills naturally come from this.

You can trust people much more than if you don’t care for them, and you can also listen to the foster child’s problems and help them find solutions.

Without a genuine lack of care and love, then you will find it difficult to become a foster carer and provide the support and care that young people need.

Open-minded & thinking outside the box

It’s essential to be open-minded as a foster carer in order to hear what issues your foster child may be having, which may be problems you have not experienced before yourself.

You need to be willing to consider new ideas and different outlooks on life, as it’s likely your foster child may have had very different life experiences from your own.

Along with an open mind to consider different issues young people may be having, you must also think outside of the box to come up with new ideas and help someone in your care overcome the challenges they’re having.


As a foster carer, you must be able to easily respond to a change in circumstances in order to suit the needs of your foster child.

Therefore, you must be comfortable with a change in circumstances in order to be a successful foster carer and provide the best possible support for someone who needs your help.

Escape from your comfort zone

If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer, then you’ll be welcoming a stranger into your home and have another person living with you who needs love and support.

For most people, this would be something they have never done before and a large step outside of their comfort zone.

As a foster carer, you must have the ability to push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to provide the best possible care for your foster child.

Ability to learn and pick up new skills quickly

Learning new skills and abilities as quickly as possible is an essential part of being a foster carer. Along your fostering journey, you will find yourself in new situations that are different to your previous experiences.

In order to effectively deal with each individual situation, the ability to quickly pick up and learn new skills will be key to becoming a great foster carer.


During the foster care process, teamwork is an essential skill to have for numerous reasons.

When you foster a child, it’s like having another member added to your team, and feeling part of a team is vital for any young person.

Your ability to work as part of a team is vital, by ensuring that each member of your household understands their role and feels included.

When you become a foster carer, you also become part of a larger team of foster carers in the Staffordshire area. The Foster For Staffordshire foster carers are part of one large family and support network for anything you need, so you’ve always got someone in our team available to help and support you through your fostering journey.

Experience with young people

Although you don’t have to be a parent yourself to become a great foster carer, we believe that experience with young people is a great skill to have.

Looking after and caring for a young person has special requirements, and experience in this area is important if you’re looking to be a foster carer.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer but lack experience with young people, feel free to call our team and we talk about the options available to you.


Foster carers can be issued with a number of setbacks along their fostering journey. It’s important to remember that young people in foster care may not have had the best experiences in the past, and their frustrations may be directed to the people closest to them.

It’s important for a foster carer to have the skill to be resilient, and keep coming back from any setbacks that may happen whilst a young person is in their care.

Sense of humour

A sense of humour and the ability to see the funny side of certain situations is key to being a successful foster carer.

Humour can help to reduce stress and help both children and adults during difficult circumstances. It can also help to relieve tension during foster care, however, interpretation and circumstance are key.


Being consistent throughout your delivery of providing support for foster children is a vital part of the fostering process - and therefore a great skill to have to become a foster carer.

There are a range of different approaches you can have to fostering, however being consistent with your approach is essential for a young person and yourself to get the most out of foster care.

There is little to gain from ‘blowing hot and cold’ with a person in your care, and therefore being consistent with your behaviour and attitude will help the young person to know where they stand.

Interested in becoming a foster carer in Staffordshire?

Foster parenting may be the most challenging job you’ll ever have, but it can be the most rewarding one too.

At Foster for Staffordshire, we believe every child deserves a happy childhood and we do all we can to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

In light of the Covid pandemic, we need more foster carers in Staffordshire. If you think you have what it takes to be a foster carer, get in touch with our team today.