Children come to us from all backgrounds. Some will have assumed the role of the ‘adult’ in the home, caring for a parent or younger siblings. Some will have seen or been the victim of abuse. Some will have suffered neglect. All will need to be given the opportunity to reclaim their childhood and know the safety, dependability and consistency a foster carer offers. It may seem the easier option, but we know fostering children can be just as demanding as fostering teenagers. They may be smaller, but they can be every bit as puzzling; so we’ll be by your side, supporting you to help them regain the innocent pleasures of childhood.
- Experience – of raising your own children or looking after other people’s children. Experience can be gained through your careers, through youth work, volunteering or in any child care setting.
- Tolerance and understanding – you’ll need an abundance of this, not because the children are being deliberately difficult, but because they need to learn so much in a short space of time. They need to learn about you, the way your home works, meet lots of new people and change schools. Like all children, they will have ‘meltdowns’, they will argue with you and get cross with you, but it’s important to remember the turbulence in their lives. We’ll always be there, on hand, should you need advice or just to let off steam!
- A practical approach – at times, you’ll need to stand your ground! All children, particularly those who’ve come to you from a dysfunctional home, will test you! At times their behaviour could put them or others at risk, so you’ll need to be prepared to be firm but fair and, if you wish, seek advice from your Blue Sky supervising social worker.
- Energy – they’re young, they’ll have an abundance of energy and you’ll need to keep up with them!
- Commitment – all children need stability. It frees up their minds and allows them to learn and grow. Living with you may be their first experience of a stable home life, so it’s vital that you support them at school and at home.
In an ideal world, every child would live an uncomplicated childhood. For many of us, our childhoods were a carefree time, full of love, adventure and fun. Sadly, for many children who come into care, their experience of childhood is quite different.
It can be difficult to comprehend the experiences children bring with them when they arrive in a foster carer’s home, we know. Sometimes, as they settle in and begin to trust you, they will open up about things that have happened to them and share their feelings with you. This is a really good sign and we’ll be there to support and guide you to help them.
Your experience of raising your own children or caring for other people’s children, along with our comprehensive training and the backing from everyone at Blue Sky will give you the security and reassurance essential to making happy and successful outcomes for the children in your care and for you.
I feel as though Blue Sky is a lovely agency to be with. I get a lot of support from them and my foster carers make me part of a family. Everyone I meet in Blue Sky is very kind and thoughtful.