I-want-to-foster.com recruit therapeutic foster carers for children across Essex and Suffolk.
What is therapeutic fostering?
It’s a phrase commonly adopted, but not always correctly applied.
True therapeutic fostering is nurturing and gives an attuned and reflective experience of family life for the child. By using reflection the child is helped to understand the meaning of behaviours and make sense of past experiences.
Individual and integrated treatment plans are of paramount importance – alongside working with the extended family – to help the child recover and repair from this trauma. A different understanding of relationships and a balanced view of the world is all part of this recovery.
Using the most up to date theory and resources for trauma assessment and treatment, along with therapists who have expertise in specialised areas, will move towards a positive outcome.
Understanding therapeutic fostering
Working directly with the children, therapists gain a unique insight that helps influence both foster carers and the team supporting the child in placement. This work ensures that the children have the chance to tell their unique story.
There are many different approaches of therapy that are beneficial for each child’s individual needs. For example, play therapy allows the child to recover and repair subconsciously through play and enables them to make sense of their experiences. Other children benefit from a more systemic approach, or perhaps from a narrative based angle looking at behaviours and processing them in the conscious mind.
How can you help us provide therapeutic foster care?
What really makes a difference to these children’s lives are foster carers who are able to help them recover and progress from their difficult early experiences.
These children need to find stability with a foster care family, to develop a sense of belonging, clear boundaries and a consistent home environment. A permanent long-term placement coupled with therapeutic recovery is vital.
Our Fostering Manager says
“Foster carers come from diverse communities. Children need love and support, and people from all backgrounds who can give it to them.”
So if you have the desire to bring hope, healing and laughter to a child in need of a stable, nurturing home, and feel that you have the qualities required to meet the sometimes challenging demands of taking a child into your life, you could become a foster carer.
There are opportunities to become a full time foster carer or to provide respite at weekends or during school holidays. Respite allows the full time carer to take a week or two holiday, or perhaps a weekend away. It may also be used to allow the carer to attend an event that may not be suitable for their foster child.
We try to use the same respite carers for each child allowing a relationship to build and ensuring that the child becomes familiar with another care giver and home.
Together we can make a difference
When one of our children was asked how he felt about being in foster care and the difference it had made to his life, he said:
“A big difference academically: given me social skills I didn’t have before, set goals and achieve them. It’s given me motivation – I’ve gone from not believing I can do things to pretty much being up for anything.”
Here’s what one of our respite foster carers has to say about her role:
“The best thing about being a respite foster carer is that I get to provide short periods of care to a large and varied selection of our younger people. I may have a 7 year old girl on respite for a week and spend my time creating craft projects and baking.
Then, in contrast, I may have a 16 year old lad with me for a long weekend and find myself cycling along the seafront and trekking through the woods. There is certainly never a dull or predictable moment in the role of a respite foster carer…and I love it!”
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life.
Don’t ever waste it” – Anonymous