Many people would potentially make great Foster Parents. However, there are often concerns such as like “Do I have time to be a Foster Parent?” or “What could I offer a foster child?”

Those are important questions to ask as raising a child or young person who may have suffered in some way is different than raising a birth child. But most people aren’t quite sure what those differences are.

There are many different kinds of fostering. At Flourish, our innovative Therapeutic Fostering model is positioned on having a team around the child to identify what their needs are so that Social Workers, Therapists and Foster Parents can work together to achieve positive outcomes for the foster child.

Fostering can be extremely rewarding and life changing, but at times is can also be very challenging. It’s important to know this from the outset so you are prepared for everything that fostering throws at you. Giving a child or young person a safe home and taking care of their practical and emotional needs can be one of the most gratifying decisions you may ever make.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an extra strain on the lives of children and young people who are already living in challenging and difficult circumstances, so providing them, and their families, with a stable and supportive environment during this uncertain period in their lives is vital.

People from all sorts of backgrounds can apply to become a Foster Parent regardless of their gender, sexual orientation and nationality, or whether they are married, single, or in a civil partnership. As long as you have a spare room, you can own your own home or rent, have your own birth children or have no children of your own. Being a Foster Parent is a full-time career so a strong desire to look after children or young people is what’s needed.

When people apply to foster with Flourish, the initial enquiry is an opportunity to find out if fostering is right for them. The application process provides all of the answers to people’s questions, enabling an opportunity to find out more about people’s motivations to become a Foster Parent.

Some really helpful insight to assist people like you who are thinking about fostering as a career to decide to progress with your application to foster is to seek Foster Parents advice, so they can offer some guidance from people who are already making a success of fostering, for people thinking about fostering.

At Flourish Fostering we are lucky to have many outstanding Foster Parents who have provided some thoughtful advice:

“It’s quite possibly the best decision we ever made. Being Foster Parents means we accomplish incredible things every day.”

“Be prepared to open your home for children and young people and treating them like they are your very own, it makes us immensely proud and is very gratifying.”

“It makes you a lot more understanding of children and young people and gives you more appreciation of life and of the little things we all take for granted.”

“It’s absolutely challenging, yes, there’s no question about that, but those challenges are made easier by the excellent support systems that Flourish Fostering provide.”

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. We have never looked back and questioned anything. We just look forward and do our very best for each child or young person that we have the privilege to foster.”

Fostering with Flourish will develop the range of parenting skills and qualities that foster applicants have so that they can play a crucial part in the recovery of hurt and traumatised children and young people. If applicants can bring resilience and an ability to empathise with others and reflect on their own actions, Flourish can work with those raw materials to cultivate therapeutic Foster Parents.

The best advice for Foster Parents to have is to be inquisitive. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to speak your mind when going through the application process. Talking to other Foster Parents also helps people as quite often, many other Foster Parents have experienced similar or the same issues and challenges. Flourish Fostering have excellent support networks in place to help Foster Parents through difficult or challenging times.

Each foster family has a different story and a different reason they began fostering. Most Foster Parents say the same thing; they’re grateful they took the leap because the risk far outweighs the reward and they wouldn’t change any of it for the world – they have loved every bit of it.

If you would like to learn more, you can start your journey and find out more about what being a Foster Parent with Flourish Fostering involves.