F is for fostering

A-Z of Fostering – F is for Fostering

Sometimes, we need to take things back to the beginning and this is what this blog intends to do, by exploring what is fostering….?

As an Independent, family-run Fostering Agency founded in 1997, this is our favourite subject and one that Chrysalis Care can confidently say we are experts in championing – as we have said in other blogs, we know a thing or two about fostering!

We are thankful to the Fostering Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness of the ongoing need for foster carers. In their #thisisfostering campaign, they share perspectives from those who foster and have been fostered, highlighting the importance of being a FAMILY who fosters. Read and see more about this here: About fostering | The Fostering Network

As you’ll see from the rest of our website, there are many different types of fostering because children come into care for many different reasons; there are all sorts of situations that can lead to birth families being unable to care for a child and hence the need of fostering.

Some of these reasons are challenging and may involve abuse, domestic violence and trauma, although this is not always the case. Sometimes birth parents may not have extended family and may have physical or mental health needs that mean that their child is not best cared for at home, or because parent/s may need to be hospitalised for a little while.

Fostering can be long term or short term – it is not always possible for a child to return home to their birth parents, so our foster carers provide the next best thing….a nurturing environment, where a child can experience ‘family’ and enjoy stability, access to consistent education and engage in social and leisure activities and hobbies that give them opportunities to feel good about life.

A common misconception is that fostering is the same as adoption but they are different arrangements. Fostering does not give foster carers parental rights but in many cases, foster carers can play a part in steering the direction of a child’s life, alongside the local authority and sometimes, the birth parents too. Sometimes, birth parents are thankful to foster carers, for providing their child with the environment that they have been unable to for whatever reason.

“Fostering offers children a safe and caring family, usually geographically close to their home, while they are unable to live with their own, and provides an opportunity for other professionals to work with the birth family to help resolve their issues.” (the Fostering Network)

Sometimes foster carers care for sibling groups, or children with physical and/or other disabilities. Sometimes, parents and children are ‘fostered’ (yes, sometimes this is mother and baby but not always), which is a really unique form of fostering – not quite the same as ‘standard’ fostering because birth parents are hoping to use the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the capacity to care for their child/ren and this means that the foster carer’s role is different – less hands on and more observational and supervisory.

As an Independent fostering agency, we work with local authorities to find the best possible foster family match for each child and we do this by recruiting, assessing, training and supporting foster carers to provide the very best possible foster care. Chrysalis Care have a longstanding reputation and some might say are pioneers in what we do – one of the first to offer 24/7 on call support, every day of the year and certainly one of the first to provide additional support through mentoring and programmes for children, amongst many other activities our Childrens’ Services department provide.

This is one of our longest blogs and yet, there is still so much more to say about fostering!

Our FAQ https://chrysaliscarefostering.org/faqs/ is a great source of information for you, as you further your fostering insights and if you contact us, through our contact us page https://chrysaliscarefostering.org/contact-us/ call us on 02082982800, or email us at info@chrysaliscare.org we can answer any of your fostering questions. Whilst you are here, don’t forget to read our next blog in the A-Z of fostering series – it’s all about Guidance and Giving.

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