Every day, across the country, foster parents continue to love, support and cherish children in their care, often in the face of ongoing struggles. What does round-the-clock support for foster parents look like and why is it needed?

We all know how tough being a parent can be, now imagine adding a whole heap of trauma to the past of a child and you have a small appreciation of how tough being a foster parent can be.

Fostering support needs to available in many different forms so that the needs of both the child and foster family are met.

Supported fostering means successful fostering
Successful fostering is when a child is able to process past trauma and learn to live a full, happy life.

But foster children will often go through dark times. Their behaviour can test the patience and endurance of even the most experienced foster parent.

Not all support and help is needed on a short notice basis. There are times when a foster parent may wish to discuss a general concern, such as is the foster child they care for allowed to stay overnight at a sleepover party, just like their friends are?

Successful fostering means foster parents – and the children they look after – and their families need support and at a time when they need it most.

Flexible support
Round-the-clock support means just that. As a foster carer, a crisis can happen at any time of night or day which is why your fostering agency will offer 24 hours, 7 days a week support, every day of the year.

If you are considering fostering, you will want to know what help you get to be the foster parents that a looked after child needs.

Along with 24/7 support, a comprehensive support package looks something like this;
Excellent ongoing training
Initial fostering training looks at common issues, such as helping a foster child to settle in your family to behavioural problems.

Ongoing training opportunities can see you become a foster carer offering specialist foster placements, such as offering a home to young offenders on remand.

Many strands of support in place
Fostering a child comes with many rewards, just as it does concerns and issues. Whilst every child is different, there are common issues that occur in most foster placements.

A fostering agency with a proven track record will understand this which is why they will often have in place, as standard, support from a close-knit team of professionals.

Social worker support
Social workers are the people who will often know the child and their past well. As well as working with the child’s social worker, you may also be assigned your own too.

By getting to know their foster carers well, a fostering agency will understand how they can best support them in the day to day care of a foster child but also in the longer term too.

Specific support
As foster parents, you may be drawn into a world with which you are not familiar. A fostering agency will often provide a range of specific support services which you can tap into when you need them most.

Education support helps you to understand how to support your foster child through their education journey from primary to secondary school.

Support services for young people are offered to foster children and your own children too if you have them, because there is a recognition of the change in family dynamic throughout the fostering process.

Therapeutic support helps foster parents to respond to the needs of their foster children in an appropriate way but also in a way that allows them to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

Around foster parents, a whole community of professionals is in place to ensure that a fostering placement is successful. But it isn’t just professionals; fellow foster parents provide invaluable advice and support too, just as you will to other foster carers.
Foster Care Associates are known to provide one of the most comprehensive tailored support packages to foster parents. Take a closer look if you are considering becoming a foster carer.