Providing foster care is a very rewarding experience. However, foster carers occasionally need help and support, especially when they encounter something unexpected or new. Getting the support and help you need as a foster carer will help you become a better foster carer so you can continue providing the best care and home environment for your foster children. There are several ways of finding help and support, and here are the most helpful ones.
Get Support Through Your Foster Care Agency
Your foster care agency has excellent resources for supporting foster carers. The professionals at your agency can answer questions, provide additional information about how foster care works, provide additional training, and give you access to new foster care resources.
Importantly, you should ask them about their support groups. These foster care support groups typically consist of foster carers with a range of experience and can be a great source of the additional information you need to become a more effective foster carer.
They also provide you with a chance to connect with other foster carers for family and other types of events. Some foster care agencies like Orange Grove Foster in West Sussex also provide support services and training in different locations, so foster carers can get the support they need wherever they are in the southern counties.
Online Communities and Forums
Numerous online forums, social media groups, and discussion boards are dedicated to foster care and foster carers. These communities are beneficial if you do not have a support group available or need additional support. They are also helpful if you need an answer to a question quickly or to understand foster care through the viewpoint of other foster carers.
You can find numerous forums and communities online, on Facebook, on platforms like Reddit and websites dedicated to foster care.
Respite care is a programme where a foster carer can take in a child for a short period to give the primary foster carers time to relax and re-energise. Every foster carer should take advantage of the relief provided by respite care to take care of themselves so they can continue being the best foster carers they can be.
The best news is that some foster care agencies give foster carers some paid respite time off, which can be incredibly useful. At this time, foster carers can seek additional support if they need it or take the time to find more ways to become even better foster carers.
Friends and Family
Sometimes it is best to lean on your network of friends and family. You can share your concerns, experiences and triumphs so they can provide the emotional support you need. In most cases, foster carers need someone who will provide a listening ear, be understanding, and help them navigate the ups and downs of being a foster carer.
Everyone needs support from time to time, and that includes foster care. If you feel like you need support, there are different options you could choose from, including finding support through your foster care agency. You can also lean on other foster carers and your network of friends and family for additional support.