It doesn’t take a lot to provide a kid in need with a loving home.
Kids come into foster care for all sorts of reasons… but uprooting them from their lives and homes always comes as a last resort. Something that’s absolutely necessary to keep them safe from the harm of neglect or abuse.
A sad side-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the growing rate of domestic distress across our nation. It’s one of the reasons that Anglicare is urgently seeking more new foster carers to provide loving homes for precious kids in need.
Maybe you’ve been praying about foster care for a little while and are yet to take the first step. Or maybe this is the first time the idea has even crossed your mind. Either way, keep reading to discover the five attributes traits of a great foster carer. (Spoiler alert: they’re not as uncommon as you might think!)
Trait 1: You need to love kids.
It probably goes without saying, but a great foster carer should love being around kids. However, what you may not realise is that you don’t require any special experience to be exactly who a kid might need.
As a foster carer, Anglicare will provide you with training and ongoing support. You’ll have a case manager who’ll be in regular contact through home visits and phone calls, and the opportunity to participate in carer workshops and courses during the year. There is even an after-hours phone number for emergencies, should you need it.
The best foster carers do not have to be childcare experts or even parents themselves. They’re normal people like you who have a heart for kids in need… and a willingness to learn!
Trait 2: Your home is safe, clean and comfortable.
No matter the family situation, kids often come to foster care in traumatic circumstances – separated from the only life they’ve known. That’s why it’s
so important for kids in foster care to have a safe place to call home. And someone who can give them the stability and routine that every kid needs and deserves.
You’ll need to be able to provide them a healthy environment as well as adequate privacy and living space. (Hint: a bedroom will do just fine!) You’ll need to make sure they have their own bed… and while they can’t share a bedroom with an adult, it may be appropriate for them to share a bedroom with another child.
Trait 3: You must be willing to put your foster kids first.
If you’re a parent, you’ll already know that you won’t always get it right… but you have to commit to putting your kids’ needs first. The same is true for kids in foster care. Maybe even more so, because often kids are in care because their needs haven’t always been met by others.
That might sound like a big ask, but to a kid it’s actually quite simple. Will you listen when they speak? Will you make time to play with them… or read to them? Will you find ways to show them you care, day after day? Can you help them to stay connected with their birth family? Will you be patient and understanding when they don’t always get things right?
Trait 4: You want to do something important
Many kids who come into foster care have experienced neglect or abuse – sometimes at the hands of their own parents. They have very little understanding of what a loving family and a safe home can look like. But that’s where you come in!
It’s a big problem. But it’s also within your power to solve that problem for at least one child.
Trait 5: Someone like you
Someone who is patient, open and flexible, someone with the time to intensively care. No matter whether you’re single, married or in a long-term relationship*, as long as you’re over 21 and in good health you could be exactly who kids in need are looking for!
Anglicare welcomes carers from all cultural and religious backgrounds… so what are you waiting for? Get in touch today!
* A couple must have been living together for at least two years