One of the common questions we are often asked when someone enquires with us is ‘Do we (or I) have to have had our own children to foster?’ and the simple answer is ‘No’.
Whilst it may appear that having birth children may be an advantage to fostering, having foster children can be very different. Each child we have will come with their own set of needs and strengths, some of which parents of birth children may not have ever experienced themselves. To be a great foster parent you need to be patient, kind, open to learning and resilient. These are attributes found in all kinds of people, not just those who have birth children.
Last week at our panel we had two households approved to foster, a single female and a couple, neither of whom had birth children. Some people might think it is a disadvantage to not have been a parent, but it is also true that you can therefore come into fostering with no preconceived ideas of how to parent. Looking after a child who has come into care can be a very different experience and new skills may be needed. In some cases, your own children may not have presented with the same behaviours, as they have come from a secure base with no attachment issues. It’s all about understanding the child in your care.
In fact, at Mosaic, one of our only requirements is that any birth children living in the same house as you and your foster child are are 12 or over. Some of the children in our agency need lots of attention and we would never want someone to become a foster parent to the detriment of their own birth children. When a birth child is 12, they are more able (to some extent) to make their own choices and may need less of your time. This is why we have the requirement in place. When fostering with us, we provide support to your whole family. This means that your birth children will also be supported by Mosaic's team.
Whilst trying to understand someone you don't know can seem daunting, we at Mosaic will give you all the support you need to achieve this best. With our comprehensive support package, we strive to make sure that all foster parents in our agency feel supported and heard.
Our comprehensive training programme benefits all our foster parents whether or not they have had birth children of their own.
Our SMILE model has been developed around therapeutic parenting and will give you so much insight into trauma in a young person’s life and how you can help them to achieve their full potential. SMILE is training that everyone in the agency receives and so we are all on the same page. Want to learn more about SMILE, take a look here.
As always, if you would like to talk through options, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team. We would be only too happy to help. Connect with us and Make an Enquiry today!