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How To Be The Best Therapeutic Foster Parent

Being the best therapeutic foster parent you can be is an interesting topic as (and we will let you in on a little secret here) there really is no way to BE the best you can only DO your best! You dont need to have any initial expeirence with fostering to become a foster parent, we will give you all that you need including training in our therapeutic model called SMILE. Some good traits to have are being adaptable, open minded to learning about others and yourslef, self reflective, reslilient and genuinly in this to help other people. If you want to learn more about the different types of fostering take a look here.

Having said that, here are a few helpful points to start you in the right direction of being the best foster parent you can be!

Being the best therapeuitc foster parent - Being Adaptable

Being able to adapt to your surrounds and keeping what is important in mind is really critical. At a time when many of us find ourselves in a different place, possibly physically as well as mentally, our world and circumstances can change depending on how we choose to look at things. We all know that Covid tested our adaptability to new situations, so we are sure that you are all well versed in how to be adaptable- thats already one thing you can check off in your quest to becoming the best therapeutic foster parent you can be.

Being the best theraputic foster parent - Changing viewpoints

Being the best therapeutic foster parent you can be also includes being able to change the way you see things. French critic Alphonse Karr once said: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

Sometimes, what we really need is to see things from a different point of view. We could adjust our perspective, explore new ideas, or put ourselves in someone else’s shoes for a moment. This fresh perspective benefits our own wellbeing and can make us aware of, and think how to possibly support others who are struggling, too.

See the world from another’s viewpoint.

Part of being a therapeutic foster parent is to have that ability to understand what the young person in your care might be feeling; how they perceive the world; how their experiences have shaped them. See the world from that child’s viewpoint.

Being the best therapeutic foster parent - Following our therapeutic model

One of the key elements of our therapeutic SMILE model is Environment.  Children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences often operate from a fear-based world view and therefore find it difficult to trust any caregiver. High structure through consistent boundaries, held in place by nurturing yet firm parents, is something the child can depend on. Over time, the child experiences this structure as dependable and predictable; the opposite of their previous experiences. 

High structure can seem quite cold and clinical which is why the careful balance of high structure AND high nurture is so important. Often children’s experience, which is imprinted on their brain and view of the world, is that they are not lovable or liked. So often, lots of nurture is at odds with the child’s experience and they can seemingly push away. However, over time and with the right balance, the child’s experience of high nurture does begin to change their perception. 

At Mosaic we have an indepth therapeutic model which we call SMILE. It has been developed collaboratively between our therapeutic and social work teams. You can learn more about what we do here.

Mosaic's SMILE model

If you are interested in finding out how being a therapeutic foster parent could transform a young person’s life, connect with us today!

Mosaic Foster Care is a Private Ltd Company (reg no 07133494) providing fostering placements for children and young people to age 18.
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