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How your career can help you become a great foster carer

Do you already have the skills needed to foster?

If you’re thinking about making a life change in 2022, you’re not alone!

January is the most popular time for people to reassess their work-life balance and consider a career change; according to the Indeed Hiring Lab, the first Monday after New Year's Day is often the busiest day of the year for job searches.

A path that many overlook is becoming a foster carer. There are lots of myths that stop people from considering fostering as a full-time role, including that you need professional childcare qualifications, but this isn't the case!

You will have skills from your day-to-day and working life that can help you excel as a foster carer.

We work with people from all backgrounds and experiences - every foster carer has something to offer. As long as you have a spare room and space in your heart to provide a safe, stable environment for a child, you could make a fantastic foster carer and could begin a very rewarding career in fostering.

Childcare qualifications are not necessary, but we always suggest gaining experience with children before becoming a carer.

For example, you could gain childcare experience in the following ways:

  1. Childminding

  2. Caring for children of family and friends (including babysitting)

  3. Joining organisations such as Scouts, Guiding and youth groups

  4. Taking part in youth work (either voluntary or paid)

  5. Working in schools or creche environments

Most of all, we look for people with the space in their hearts to care for and support children in their community.

What makes a great foster carer?

The main qualities that we look for in foster carers are often learnt through life experience. These include patience, teamwork, empathy, compassion, understanding, communication, cooperation, fun and, of course - a good sense of humour!

"You need to be accepting, non-judgemental and open-minded." - Kara

You can gain these qualities in lots of different roles

Many different careers have proven beneficial in developing the skills needed to be a foster carer - from teachers and social workers to positions in retail and hospitality. Some examples include:

  • If you've worked as a manager, you'll have patience and understanding, which are excellent skills for making foster children feel welcomed and supported - working with people teaches us how to set boundaries, communicate, listen, and develop trust.

  • Working within a team, you will have developed great team-working skills as well as communication and cooperation skills. You'll have experience viewing things from other people's points of view, which is excellent in helping foster children feel at ease and listened to.

  • When working with customers and the public, you will have developed a high standard of interpersonal skills. Working with many different people is an invaluable way to learn how to communicate, and good communication is a vital part of being a great foster carer.

"I have done many jobs in my life, and fostering is far and away the best job I have ever had." - Kal and Ash

Unpaid roles also provide excellent work experience; your skills are developed just as much during your time off. Volunteering or helping family and friends is crucial in creating the right attributes.

"Bradford Fostering looked at our skills, our background and the family support around us, not just the age of our daughter." - Naomi

Training and support

We offer lots of training and support throughout your fostering journey. All of our new carers receive Journey 2 Foster training, which allows us to identify current skills and areas for development. During this training, you'll learn how to help children and young people grow and flourish.

You don't have to stop learning once you're an established carer. Bradford Fostering offer many different courses that allow you to develop, such as counselling skills, therapeutic parenting, and understanding mental health.

When you become a foster carer with Bradford Council, you'll never feel alone. Our foster carers have access to 24/7 professional support and guidance to help them be the best carers they can be.

You could already have the qualities that would make an excellent carer. Get in touch with our team to find out how you could change the lives of children and young people in Bradford.

What are the requirements to become a foster carer?

If you are over 21 years of age, have a spare room and be confident using English (written, speaking and reading), you could make a great foster carer.

Does this sound like you?

You could start a rewarding role as a foster carer sooner than you think. Find out how you could make a change to make a difference in the lives of children and young people in Bradford, and contact us today.

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