Personal Development

4 Tips for Being a Successful Therapeutic Foster Carer

4 Tips for Being a Successful Therapeutic Foster Carer

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Therapeutic foster carers have a unique role in the fostering environment. They are responsible for children with trauma backgrounds who need extra support, intervention, and understanding. There is always a need for this type of placement, but it does require resilient minds and positive movement. If you are thinking of stepping into this career path, here are four tips to help you with the journey.

Embrace it as an Educational Experience

This type of fostering means you will have a lot to learn along the way. The first place to look is within the information from your chosen agency. These are reputable sources for a vast array of informative content and valuable outlets for anyone who needs them. There are advanced training schedules designed to help you respond to the changing and complex needs of your foster child. It is often helpful to think about the placement as an opportunity to keep learning. You will not only discover things about yourself, but new perspectives on how to handle challenging situations and pull through to the other side in one piece, and even stronger. Education is a big part of what drives the success of these placements, and it will be your job to embrace it.

Lean On Your Social Worker

You will meet a number of social workers and other professionals throughout your career. When you begin a placement, there will be a worker assigned to you specifically, and one for your foster child too. Get to know them, and maintain an open, honest narrative about what you’re experiencing. They are in your life to offer you guidance and support both you and the child in your care. They can only do their job if you let them, so try to avoid brushing things under the rug and allowing problems to manifest into insurmountable barriers.

Use Specialist Agencies

Given that therapeutic fostering is a specialist thing, it makes sense to sign up with an agency that specialises in this kind of foster care. An agency like ISP Fostering can offer more support and insight. By doing so, you allow everyone on the team, the foster child included, to be able to reach higher success rates. Achievement is a relative term when it comes to fostering after all. There is no right or wrong outcome as long as you are doing your job properly, professionally, and with compassion.

Keep an Open Mind

Even with all the training under your belt, the first child you care for might still take you by surprise. That is completely normal, and not something to be afraid of. As soon as the child moves in you have to think on your feet, embrace your training, and adapt according to their profile of specific needs. If you can do this with an open mind, that is half the battle already won and you will be well on the way to establishing some trust as a base to move forward.

Fostering in a therapeutic setting is an exciting and challenging career path. There is a real difference to be made in this environment, and it will take some mental strength to live up to the task.

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