5 Things First Time Foster Parents Need to Know

5 Things First Time Foster Parents Need to Know

The excitement you feel before you welcome your first foster child into the home setting is a unique feeling. Yet, as a first-time carer, you will naturally have a million thoughts racing through your mind as well. Though there is a balance to be struck, there are five key bits of information that you need to know to get things moving on a positive note. Growing up there were always families in my church who kept foster children. I was always curious about how everything in the foster care system worked, perhaps you’re also curious, so please read on below to find out what First Time Foster Parents need to know.

Your Agency Is Your First Point of Contact

Fostering agencies like Orange Grove Foster Care work hard to support their carers. This will be your first point of contact for any questions, concerns, or updates that need sharing along the way. Once a child has moved in, there will be frequent check-ins and regular meetings to support everyone in the setting. So, if you have a query at any time of the day or night, pick up the phone and get in touch before you do anything else. 

There Are No Fixed Outcomes

Foster care outcomes are so diverse. You can do everything right, by the book, using all of the training and accumulated experience, and things may still not turn out how you wanted them to. What you can do is control the immediate environment in a nurturing way and through the lens of what is best for the child’s well-being. It is better for your peace of mind to take things one day at a time and have a flexible goal to work towards. 

5 Things First Time Foster Parents Need to Know

Anxiety is Common

One thing that you may deal with as a foster carer is anxiety. This can come from both the child moving in, and your household too. It will be your job to handle this in a caring manner and focus on positive energy as opposed to leaving things in the air. Anxiety is super common, and not a thing that can ever be avoided in this type of situation after all. So, ultimately, your choices here are crucial.

Focus on Connection

To combat anxiety and work towards establishing a relationship, your primary focus should be on connection. While this doesn’t mean you have to forgo things like boundaries and conversations about expectations, it does mean you have to be flexible. Handling the tough communications is as important as leaning into the fun times as well. Connection above discipline is a great way to form trust and support healthy attachment development. 

There Is Community Support Too

It will be made clear to you throughout any training that there is a whole community of foster carers just like you close by. These are the people that you can lean on for advice, support, and companionship as you move through this journey. There will be tailored days out for all of the children being looked after too, which are great ways to get headspace and help your foster child form positive peer connections

First time carers have an amazing journey ahead of them. These five points will help you stay grounded and realistic about the next steps.

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