How Raising Children Can Prepare You for a Job in Foster Care
3 mins read

How Raising Children Can Prepare You for a Job in Foster Care

Raising children is a full-time job and one that gives you lots of transferable skills in care, development, and patience. Raising your own children offers you plenty of experience in caring for foster children, so if your children are getting older and starting to fly the nest, you might want to consider a job in foster care. 

Communication

Raising children teaches you how to communicate with a child as they age and go through different stages of development. This is vital for being a foster carer, as you will need to communicate with different children and professionals. Having the ability to not take yourself too seriously is vital for younger foster children, so they can play and feel safe. 

On another note, it is important to know when to be authoritative, as all children need guidance to understand boundaries which will teach them how to act appropriately at home and school. If fostering sounds like your true calling, find out how you can foster in your area by speaking to a fostering agency, such as fosteringpeople.co.uk

Conflict Resolution

All children inevitably go through a stage in their life where they act out and test boundaries, particularly during the terrible twos and puberty. Whilst all children need to understand boundaries, being a parent teaches you how to resolve conflicts with children who don’t understand better. Foster children, like any child, may test the waters with a new parent, so you must know how to deal with conflict calmly. 

Empathy

Children wear their hearts on their sleeves, so raising your own children gives you plenty of opportunities to develop a strong sense of empathy. Instead of shutting a child down when they show emotions, it’s important to look at it from their point of view. Not being able to watch cartoons before bed is the biggest deal in the world to them, as they have nothing else to worry about. 

Empathy is key to understanding children and teaching them that their feelings are valid. Foster children require plenty of empathy as they may be holding onto trauma from being separated from their parents or being in the care system. A loving, empathic, and supportive environment is everything a foster child needs to grow.

Adaptability and Flexibility

As anyone who has children knows, plans don’t always work out when you have a screaming toddler or a child who is refusing to get dressed today. As a parent, you become very flexible and adaptable to situations, as children can be unpredictable. When looking after children in care, each child may have different needs, which requires a foster carer who is both adaptable and flexible. 

As you can see, raising children gives you plenty of skills that can be used when fostering. Not only do you know how to support a child with everyday tasks, but you also have the interpersonal skills needed to be a great foster carer. 

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