What is a foster carer?

Posted on Friday 10th June 2022
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If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, then it’s essential to know the ins and outs of what the role entails.

Being a foster carer will change your life, your family's life, and the lives of children who come into your care. It’s therefore important to know what you’re signing up for, and know exactly what being a foster carer is all about.

What exactly is a foster carer? 

According to Collins Dictionary, foster carers are “people who officially take a child into their family for a period of time, without becoming the child's legal parents.”

Anyone over the age of 21 who has a spare bedroom can become a foster carer in Staffordshire, and will receive training and support to meet the needs that young people in their care require.

Being a foster carer can be a full-time job, however it is possible to be a foster carer and have a flexible part-time job at the same time.

Foster carers get paid to foster and this varies depending on numerous factors, such as experience and expertise. Talk to us about what level you would start on.

What do foster carers do? 

Foster carers give children a stable and safe home to live in when they’re no longer able to live with their birth parents.

Many children require foster homes for a variety of different reasons, meaning that different types of foster care are required. Types of foster care include long-term fostering, short-term fostering, and supported lodgings.

A foster carer’s priority is providing day-to-day general care and support for the children they are looking after.

Foster care is similar to the care a parent would provide for their birth child, however, there are additional responsibilities such as attending meetings, ensuring relevant records are kept and potentially taking the child to visit their birth parents or extended familiy members.

Why are foster carers important? 

The fostering system can be an overwhelming experience for children, as they’re leaving a place they’re used to and placed in a strangers home.

Fosters carers are important as they make the foster care experience a stable and safe experience for the child, and care for them in their time of need.

In 2021, there were 45,370 fostering households in England. Despite the number of fostering households in England being at their highest ever levels, the number of children who required foster care increased by 11%. The number of fostering households is not keeping up with the number of children that require foster care.

Foster carers are therefore vital for our country and county of Staffordshire, as children need and deserve great foster carers to ensure they’re safe and secure at a difficult time for them.

What makes a great foster carer? 

There are numerous personality traits, abilities and skills that can make for a great foster carer.

It’s important to be open-minded as a foster carer, as the child in your care may have had an entirely different view of the world to yourself.

A great sense of humour is also an extremely important skills to have as a foster carer, as the ability to see the funny side of certain situations can help to relieve stress and tension.

Do foster carers have a parental responsibility? 

Foster carers have a responsibility to care for and look after a child in their care, but they do not have parental responsibility.

Foster carers can only make decisions for a child in their care where it has been delegated to them by the local authority.

Can I become a foster carer? 

If you’ve got questions about becoming a foster carer, then please get in touch with our team to find out more about what fostering entails.

If you’d like to become a foster carer in Staffordshire, then complete our enquiry form and register your interest in becoming a foster carer.