Becoming a foster carer is one of the biggest decisions you will make for you and your family. Therefore, it’s vital that you discuss this with your partner, kids, friends, and relatives.
Naturally, the life of a foster family differs from that of the nuclear family, and it comes with different experiences, goals, and rewards!
Here, we will offer four pieces of advice for taking this exciting – and challenging – step toward becoming a foster family:
1. Know your support network
The best child fostering services in Campbelltown has always encouraged identifying your support network before you start.
There are often formal and informal connections you have outside of your immediate family that can support you in this exciting life experience.
When you enter this service, you will also be connected with a list of additional support networks including community groups, resource providers, and training programs that can also help you in your journey of providing foster care.
And, of course, don’t hesitate to speak with anyone you know who has provided foster care – their experiences will help you understand the program’s early stages and help provide a solid foundation with which to start!
2. You may encounter some tough questions
When you first start the process of being a foster carer, you can obviously expect a game of 21 questions. There is a lot of stigma attached to this service, and many myths and misconceptions need dispelling.
Don’t be afraid to speak to any of your support networks about what you expect to be asked, as there are guidelines in place for answering some of the most common questions attributed to providing this service.
If you have a young family, this service may be completely new to your kids, and as such it’s important that you utilize your support networks and have a solid basis for how to answer any of their concerns.
3. Choose a specific time to discuss it with your family
Wherever possible, choose a specific day and time to speak about starting this journey. Ensure it is a time when you are all awake and energized, and not after a busy Tuesday when you all might be worn out and a little cranky.
You know when is best to discuss this with your family, and you know when will be the best time for them to hear about it in a calm and open-minded manner.
As such, think about when it is best to chat with them: will it be over Friday takeaway? Saturday after the park? A Sunday roast? It’s up to you and your family, really!
4. Remember you have plenty of support available
For some, starting this journey can feel quite isolating, especially if they feel that their family may not be quite as on board with it as they are.
But it is essential to get your family on board early as they will all have to agree on the program and will want a definite say in how things will operate.
But remember that whilst this can sound a little daunting at first, you do have plenty of support at your disposal, and many people who can help you navigate these early, trying steps towards becoming a wonderful foster carer who is helping those who need it more than you know.
So, be strong, thoroughly consult with your family, and remember that there are so many resources and support options available for you on this exciting journey!