There are many different kinds of Therapeutic Fostering, and the model we use at Flourish Fostering includes having a team around the child to identify what their needs are so that the Social Workers, Therapists and Foster Parents can work together to achieve positive outcomes for each foster child.
Foster children are four times more likely to suffer mental health problems than other children in the population, and there is strong evidence that child abuse and neglect are leading causes of those problems (NSPCC, 2015). Foster Parents are classed as key workers because of the important role they play in helping children they foster to live happy and healthy lives, leaving behind some of the difficulties they experienced before coming into care. At Flourish, we help Foster Parents succeed in their task by providing detailed assessments of children and plans that will help the team round the child know the part that they can play in helping the child to recover and lead meaningful lives.
Part of what makes fostering therapeutic is encouraging Foster Parents to focus on the right balance of nurture and challenge for each child, depending on what is appropriate for them. Foster Parents are helped to tune into the child they are looking after, to learn to understand their needs and how they may be communicating them through their behaviour. Even when Foster Parents have very good parenting skills and qualities, those are sometimes not enough to deal with a child who has maybe been through traumatic experiences or who is not attached to them.
Fostering with Flourish will develop the range of parenting skills and qualities that applicants have so that they can play a crucial part in the recovery of hurt and traumatised children. 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.
Developing skills in therapeutic fostering is enhanced by the support and supervision Foster Parents receive from Supervising Social Workers and Flourish therapists. By learning to understand children from various difficult backgrounds, Foster Parents in turn can help children to understand the meaning of behaviours and make sense of past experiences.
Individual Therapeutic Plans, that sit alongside the Local Authority Care Plan for the child, help children recover and repair past trauma. One of the most healing things available to foster children is to have a positive experience of relationships and a balanced view of the world as part of their recovery.
Can I Help to Provide Therapeutic Foster Care?
What really makes a difference to foster children’s lives are Foster Parents who are able to help them recover and progress from their difficult early experiences.
Foster children need to find stability with a foster family, to develop a sense of belonging, clear boundaries and a consistent home environment. A permanent long-term placement, coupled with therapeutic recovery, is vital.
If you have the desire to bring hope, healing and laughter to children who need a stable, nurturing, loving home, and feel that you have the qualities required to meet the challenging demands of taking a child into your life, you could become a Foster Parent with Flourish Fostering.
At Flourish Fostering, together, we can make a difference. You can start your journey and find out more about what being a Foster Parent with Flourish Fostering involves.