Advice for new carers from an existing carer

We asked one of our Foster Carers to give future carers advice to help them, here's what they said:

Always be yourself

It is important to relax and ensure you just be yourself.  Don’t walk on egg shells as it will make you and the young people in your care feel uncomfortable.    

Be yourself, do the things you normally do and the transition will be much easier.

Have lots of empathy

Every child or young person is different, they will have different wants and needs.  It is important show empathy and understand their feelings.  Time in Foster Care can be difficult, but you can make it easier by listening to them and seeing what you can do to make the transition more smoothly for them.

Be truthful with everyone

Honesty is key to being a foster carer.  Being truthful to children in your care as well as friends and family make it much easier.  It can be hard at times, but it is also a good idea to be truthful with your social worker.  They are there to help and support you, so being honest with them ensures you get all the support you need.

Have a really good memory

Or failing that write things down.  Being able to recall import things in a child’s or young persons life will make them feel important, so Birthdays, Friends names or even the players of their favourite football team can help.

Remember that we are the child’s/young person's advocate in most situations

Involve them in decisions (dependent on age) eg :- Decorating the bedroom, where would they like to go on holiday (although it won't always be granted) what they would like for tea, what they want to wear.

Stick to rules but don't be afraid of changing them either

Implement boundaries most children/young people haven't had any boundaries & will feel more secure when they realise that you live with boundaries

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