Although it is inevitable that you will make some mistakes as a foster parent and although there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to being the best foster parent possible, there are some things that you definitely should not do as a foster parent which can make your foster child feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in your home. Therefore, here are some of the things that you should not do and what you can do instead.
Although you might often tease your birth children, you should try to avoid teasing your foster child, especially if they have only recently started to live with you and if you are not familiar with what they are comfortable with yet. Teasing can often be belittling and may trigger negative memories for your foster child. Instead, you should make an effort to praise them copiously and ensure that they know that you are proud of them for what they do.
Pressure Them Into Affection
If you have decided to foster a child because you cannot have a child of your own or because you live alone, it can be difficult not to instantly ask and pressure your foster child into displays of affection. However, your foster child may not always feel comfortable with physical affection (or even verbal affection) depending on their background. Instead, you should always ask their consent before hugging them, offer them affection without expecting any in return, and follow their lead when it comes to displays of physical affection.
Value Your Birth Children Above Them
When you also have birth children living in your family, you should make sure that your foster child never feels as if they are more important than them. Instead, you should ensure that you treat them both equally and that they receive the same amount of attention, gifts and affection. This will then help your foster child to feel at home and as much a part of your family as your birth children. If you are ready to introduce a foster child into your family, you should contact a fostering agency like thefca.co.uk.
Fail to Communicate with the Birth Family
Although you might feel defensive and responsible for your foster child, this does not mean that you should make trouble or fail to communicate with their birth family, as, in many cases, the end goal is to reunite the child with their biological family. You should always stick to arrangements, ensure that you and they can communicate with the birth family effectively (if arrangements have been made to do so) and make sure that you respect their birth family within your house. You should also try to get support if you are struggling with any aspect of being a foster parent.
Although being a foster care worker can be difficult, these rules for fostering will help you to provide the best care for the foster child in question and will help them to feel comfortable within your home, whether they live with you short-term or for years and years. Not only will this prevent you from making mistakes that could push your foster kid away, but it can also help you to avoid many of the stumbling blocks that many people come across when they foster a child for the first time.