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What is a Foster Carer?

Before you become a foster carer, one of the big questions is, “What is a foster carer?” A foster carer is, simply stated, someone who takes on the role of a parent for an unspecified period of time. It could be a day, a week, a month, a year, or until the child reaches the age of 18 when care orders lapse or when the care plan dictates. The longer answer is that foster carers are compassionate, loving people who value children and young people and who are willing to do the best that they can to provide a home and the type of caring that opens up the possibilities for a positive future for the child.

In the old days, typically the local authority maintained its own roster of foster carers. Some still do while others outsource foster care to a fostering agency such as Capstone Foster Care. Some local authorities use both their own foster carers and private agencies. In this division of duties, the fostering agency recruits, assesses, and trains foster carers. Because fostering is Capstone’s only mandate, we are able to provide the best resources and training because we work with a wide range of foster carers.

What Do Foster Carers Do?

Through the process of application and assessment to the final approval, those who are about to become foster carers are able to learn about all the benefits and challenges of being a foster parent and become aware of the support that is available. You will learn your natural abilities to communicate, listen, and work as part of a team.

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You will be a full-time carer for the foster child and be involved with his or her education, extracurricular activities such as sports, health care, and socialisation. You will feed, clothe, and provide shelter for the foster child and you will provide love, caring, understanding, and a safe and secure place to live. If the child has special needs, you will have the full support of Capstone in acquiring the skills and tools that you need to assist the child.

You will cooperate with the team of experts who are involved in the child’s life. This includes Capstone’s social workers, educators, coaches, friends, parents of the child’s friends, and health care professionals. There is paperwork involved and you will have to keep on top of it, preparing reports, and paying attention to things such as taxes. As a foster carer, you are a self-employed worker.

Whether you choose to look after children for a short or long-term foster care arrangement, you will be meeting new children and young people with their own unique stories and their own set of concerns and life experiences. They may have been suddenly taken out of their habitual lifestyle with their family and friends due to a sudden tragedy or disruptive emergency in their lives. Some looked after children are in foster care from birth until they age out. Some children exhibit difficult behaviour. Some have learning disabilities.

If you wish to have more information about the types of foster care needed, contact Capstone Foster Care. We have a need for families who are willing to help children have the lives they deserve.

Capstone Foster Care can be contacted on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

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