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Why Now Has Never Been a Better Time to Foster

If you compare being a foster carer today to being a foster carer 20 years ago, you’ll see that now has never been a better time to foster. Our sister company, Pathway Care, is this week celebrating its 20th year anniversary. It got us thinking about all of the changes that have taken place during those 20 years and how far the system has come. So what benefits is there now that you wouldn’t get 20 years ago?

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More support, understanding and acceptance

Perhaps the main change that has occurred for the better over the past two decades, is that there is now a lot more support and understanding. This relates to both carers and children.

At one time, foster children had very little input into their placements. They were simply passed around residential homes without their needs being fully taken into account. Independent foster care agencies were also frowned upon. In fact, Sharon Thomas, the Team Operations Manager at Pathway Care, shared an interesting insight into what life was like when she first started out. In an interview she recalls:

“When I started in the independent sector I’d go to events and be ignored - people didn’t know how to take us”.

She also went on to acknowledge that now independent agencies are considered an “established part of the sector”.

There is a lot more understanding now regarding the needs of both children and their carers. Children’s voices are now heard, while carers receive an unprecedented level of support at each stage of their journey.

When you become a carer with Fostering solutions, we’ll pair you with a carer buddy. They will be able to provide a valuable insight into how to deal with various situations, as well as offer emotional support to help ease you into the transition. There’s also 24 hour support available 7 days a week from an experienced social worker. Whenever you need a break, respite care is also available. You’re never alone and that’s a stark contrast to the support you would have received if you were fostering 20 years ago.

In-depth training ensures you’re confident and skilled

As well as benefitting from 24/7 support, all carers today benefit from in-depth training. This includes both at the start of your journey and throughout. There are various types of training available, including more specialised training which helps you to take on children with more complex behaviours and needs. So you’ll never feel like you’re out of your depth. The level of training has improved dramatically over time.

So if you’ve been put off applying to be a foster carer because you’re worried you’ll be required to ‘go it alone’, you’ll hopefully now see that isn’t the case. While at one time there as very little support, information and training provided, these days there’s an abundance of it.

Overall fostering today offers so many benefits and it’s rewarding knowing you’re making a difference to a vulnerable child’s life. No doubt there will be even more big, exciting changes made over the next 20 years. If you’d like to be a part of this rewarding journey, contact us today.