One of the pre-requisites for fostering with Kindercare Northern Ireland is prior experience of raising children either as a parent or guardian. This means that most carers (though not all) who work with us already have families of their own.
This can be a source of immense stability and strength for both foster carers and the children they look after, especially when they are new to fostering. Fostering can also present a family with challenges as new children enter the family unit with needs and concerns of their own.
If you are parents with children of your own, you must prepare carefully before you begin your first fostering placement. Your own children will have many expectations both positive and negative about how the foster placement in their home will affect their lives.
At Kindercare NI we believe that it is important to fully explore these feelings with them, even if at first they seem to be unrealistic or overly anxious.
If you are fostering with a partner or spouse it is also important that you explore how each other is feeling both before and during the placement.
The young person who comes to live with you and your family might well have strong feelings of abandonment or have come from a home background without stability or routine.
By welcoming them into your home you are offering the opportunity of becoming part of the warmth and stability that has often been lacking in their lives.
A family environment can be one of the most important and nurturing experiences for a young person in foster care, but in order for the placement to be successful the family’s needs also have to be addressed.
At Kindercare NI we often see that communicating, especially when there might be challenging behaviour or unmanageable feelings from the young person in your care, your family will be able to handle whatever issues fostering presents.