As a Foster Carer how to cope with everyday’s challenges and support from Sunbeam
Fostering is a way of providing a stable family life for children and young people, who are unable to live with their parents at a point in time. This allows children the chance to thrive in a safe, secure, loving and caring home environment with foster carers. The children and young people placed with foster carers are from a diverse range of backgrounds and will display different behaviour depending upon their various experiences.
In the world of fostering both foster cares and looked after children face challenges. The challenges are as followed:
Firstly, managing challenging behaviour. Foster children are often complex individuals with complex needs and backgrounds. Quite often this is due to what they’ve been through. Foster children may seem antisocial or self-destructive behaviour such as violence, tantrums, self-harm or running away from home. Foster carers need to deal with this in a gentle way with patience. Full training will be given on tips to help you approach different situations, and foster carers will always have a supporting social worker to help when needed.
Secondly, interacting with biological families. Often the primary aim of a foster placement is to reunite parent and children when it is safe and beneficial to do so. This means contact with biological families is vital but often it is not always easy as some biological families are more resistant to the fact that they need help from a foster carer while they work through their issues. Anger might be aimed at the foster carer with parents refusing to see the foster carer as someone who wants to help. There is always help for the foster carer with their supervising social workers who can help the foster carer by giving them background information and making sure the foster carer doesn’t have to do anything they are not comfortable with. It is very important for the foster carer to remain positive and work as team during this process as it will help the looked after child in the long run.
Thirdly, foster carers can experience exhaustion in their own life especially when they look after more than one child. Often carers put so much effort into the foster child that they forget about their own life. This can lead to foster carers feeling very unhappy and unmotivated. This is where the foster carers supervising social workers helps by finding a solution and talking about any difficulties the foster carer is facing. For example, if the foster carer is exhausted their supervising social worker can help the foster carer get some time to themselves by organising a backup carer or respite placement and they will have some time off.
Being a foster carer you never need to face things alone as Sunbeam will always be there to help and support you. Sunbeam is committed to providing our approved foster carers with prompt, professional, high-quality fostering support, supervision and training. We want you to have the very best skills and resources in order to meet the individual needs of the looked after children and young people in your care and to ensure they achieve the very best outcomes possible.
In addition to our social workers, we have dedicated support workers who will assist with travel, practical arrangements and contact. They will also provide structured and emergency work with children or young people to improve their behaviour.