Five things you need to know about becoming a foster carer

Five things you need to know about becoming a foster carer

Have you thought about becoming a foster carer for years but never got round to picking up the phone? It can feel like a huge leap from ‘I/we might do that one day’ to taking the first step but the reality is, it’s a process you have full control over. At Baptcare you’re provided with full support and training, every step of the way.

5 things you need to know about becoming a foster carer

1.  Foster carers come from all walks of life

Whether you’re single, part of a family, married, divorced, working full or part-time or have children of your own, you can become a foster carer. If you’re flexible, caring, patient and dedicated to meeting the needs of children then foster care could be for you.

2.  You have a preference over the age, gender and length of time a child stays with you

Many new carers tell us they were concerned they’d have no say over the children they foster but you do get a preference on the age, gender and length of time a child might stay with you (e.g. respite, emergency or long-term care). Many start out doing short term placements and relieve other foster parents for one weekend a month. This allows them to get a feel for the experience before taking on a longer term placement. Some stay as respite carers the whole time. There’s no pressure to do more than you’re ready for.

3.  It’s not about rescuing or taking ownership of children

Foster care involves providing a child with a safe, stable and loving environment while their own family are unable to care for them. The aim is, where possible, to get the child back with their parents. Worried about saying goodbye? Check out our post on coming to grips with goodbyes

4.  You get thorough training and support

The application process can take anything from three to six months, depending on your availability. It involves a series of training sessions and interviews to ensure we can meet your expectations and you feel prepared for your first placement. You’re guided personally through the process and once accredited, the 1:1 support continues. You become part of a care team and are given a handbook, resources and someone you can call on – day or night.

5.  You can stop the process at any time

There is no obligation to take on a placement and if you decide half way through the process that it’s not for you, there’s no hard feelings. We’re big on self-care and encourage you to tell us when it’s not working. Communication is key and we don’t expect you to be a super hero! The ability to self-manage, say no or ask for help is a crucial skill.

Baptcare is looking for carers in west & inner north Melbourne. We’d love to talk to you to get the conversation started and answer any queries you have.

Call Anna from the Baptcare foster care team on  03 9373 3800.