Many people also assume they’re not suitable to be foster carers. However, factors like marital status, sexuality, age, and owning a home don’t determine someone’s suitability.
Aside from certain requirements – such as being a full-time UK resident – the main skills that make good foster carers include empathy, sense of humour, good listening skills, structure, and stability.
Joyce says, “You have to have a lot of tolerance. If you show empathy, consideration, understanding, and compassion, you can be taught everything else you need to know in foster training – such as learning to understand how a young person is thinking. And, these skills naturally develop anyway.
“Being able to stand up for the child and remain calm no matter the situation is really important. It’s all about building a strong structure. Even in hard times, you just have to stick to your principles and they’ll eventually come back to you.”
Elaine continues, “What you need is room in your heart and room in your home. If you can love a stranger, you’ll make a good foster parent.
“They need stability, love, and discipline. But most importantly, you need to understand that you’re not always going to get it right.”