Do I need experience with children to be a foster carer?

Do I need experience with children to be a foster carer?

As with most things in life, previous experience makes everything a little easier but it’s definitely not essential to become a foster carer nor does it necessarily make you a better one. We find that some people, even those who’ve never really spent any significant time with children, just have a knack with them. Sometimes people have a special way with babies and can quickly soothe them or make them laugh. Others know exactly what to say to a brooding teenager to get them to open up. The great thing about foster care is that all these types of people are needed right now and you might be one of them, you just don’t know it yet.

The other thing to consider is that experience with children doesn’t necessarily come from you having been a parent. It could be gained from working with children either in a school or nursery setting or maybe you’ve spent time with children of family or friends for example. It’s basically about assessing whether you think you have the right personality and skill set to be a good foster carer. We find that people who have worked in the care or education sector have a wealth of transferable skills we’d value in any foster carer even if they haven’t had direct contact with children.

Everyone has to start somewhere and we’d love you to start your fostering journey with Safehouses Fostering. All of our foster carers undertake extensive training before welcoming their first foster child and we provide them with substantial support throughout their fostering journey. Foster carer support can be accessed day or night through our 24-hour helpline – you will always be able to speak to our highly qualified staff.

The most important thing in our eyes is that you’ve made the decision to dedicate your time and open your home to a child or young person in need. We think that’s pretty amazing.

Our only requirements for prospective foster carers are that you’re over 21, you have a spare room (or more if you’re thinking of taking on siblings or multiple children) and that you have the time to commit to a child.

If you would like to find out more about fostering, book a call with our carer enquiries team at a time that suits you.