Why foster?

Every year thousands of new foster carers are needed to care for the increasing number of vulnerable children coming into care in the UK.

Why foster a child?

Here at Olive Branch Fostering, we are always looking for people who want to take up the role of a foster carer. Whether you have experience or are entirely new to the fostering world, our team is ready to chat about all things fostering. Anyone can foster as long as you are over 21, a UK resident or have indefinite leave to remain and can offer a spare room.  

We will be with you every step of the way during your fostering journey.  

Why foster?

An ever-increasing number of children and young people are looking for a loving and supportive home, and according to the latest statistics released by The Fostering Network, as of March 31st 2022, over 82,000 children were in care. As a result, there's a constant need for new foster carers.  

Our foster children come from various backgrounds, cultures, nationalities and ages. This means we welcome a genuinely diverse mix of carers and actively encourage fostering applications from persons with different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.  

People consider fostering for many reasons but often hold back due to worry over the unknown. We've heard their concerns, from attachment issues to parenting ability. However, many initial concerns are eased through training and spending time with other carers. 

Why should I consider fostering?

People decide to become foster carers for countless reasons. Whether it’s a personal experience that has made them want to offer more support to vulnerable people or want to impact the world positively, carers come with various stories. However, many of our carers have things in common, all of which have helped them provide incredible and inspiring care to vulnerable children. 

You want to help children flourish

While a range of people would make excellent foster carers based on their experiences and traits, the most vital sign that you should be a foster carer is that you are passionate about helping children reach their full potential. For example, suppose you have the drive to help children live a more comfortable and happier life, willing to move through any challenges and rough patches and work towards a stable future. In that case, you’d be ideal for filling the supportive, kind and nurturing carer role. 

You can make a difference

Maybe you’re close with someone who was in foster care, or you understand what it can mean to be vulnerable with nowhere to go. Either way, if you want to make a difference in the community, fostering is for you. The young people in foster care have often been through a lot and will be looking for a safe space where they can grow and develop. By offering that space, solid foundations and a nurturing environment, you can be the key to a brighter future for them. 

You’ve been there

A number of our foster carers lived with foster families in their youth. Many of them benefited massively from the positive influence and support provided to them in their moment of need and want to offer similar assistance to other young people who were once in their shoes. 

These personal experiences can be vital in supporting a foster child through difficult situations, such as trauma, grief and loss. By knowing what it feels like, you’ll be able to relate to their situation and guide them to take them towards a brave and resilient future. 

You have an empty nest

If you’re a parent, who’s already experienced the trials and tribulations of bringing up your own children, considering foster care could be ideal for you. With your children having flown the nest, you’ll be in the perfect position to provide young people with the support, consistency and love they need to flourish. Having experienced everything parenthood has to offer, you’ll also be well-equipped to provide vital support, throughout the good and the bad times. 

You want to start a family

Many individuals have always dreamed of building their own family unit. However, for some, it's not always an easy journey. For those who have always wanted to raise children, fostering could be a good route to consider. By fostering, you can experience all of the rewards that come with parenthood while making a life-changing impact on those more vulnerable. You’ll be able to provide a secure home to children and bring them up with love, kindness and much-needed support. 

Why foster children need you

Ultimately, some children need your help in finding a secure future. They’re looking for support and nurturing to help them reach their potential as they grow and develop. 

Too many children grow up in a setting that doesn’t resemble a loving family environment. But, with your support, they can access foundations that can not only help them find stability but show them how to care for their future children. You will be setting an example that can pass through generation after generation. 

In addition, fostering can be inexplicably rewarding. Your influence will help children overcome challenges and blossom. By seeing young people flourish in front of your eyes, you’ll have a gratifying experience that can be enough to power you through any difficulties. 

What are the qualities needed to be a great foster carer?

Throughout our lives, we all pick up different skills and experiences. Likewise, foster carers come from various backgrounds, but they all share similar qualities. So, regardless of their age or relationship status, here are some of the top traits and attributes our fabulous foster carers have in common. 

  • Commitment to helping children

  • Honesty  

  • Openness to learning

  • Resilience  

  • Flexibility 

  • Consistency  

  • Dedication  

  • Kindness

How to start fostering

The journey to becoming a foster carer has a reputation for being complicated. It can be a reason prospective foster carers hold back. 

However, it’s one of the greatest misconceptions. While there are in-depth checks and training, it’s not as daunting as you may think and is designed to be as simple as possible while offering all the necessary support for new carers. 

Once you get in contact, an Olive Branch Fostering team member will contact you to discuss your application and set up an initial home visit. You’ll then be assessed on suitability and participate in a panel interview and review. Once passed, you’ll successfully become a foster carer. 

What are the roles and responsibilities of foster parents

Common questions asked

There is no upper age limit, age is just a number when it comes to fostering. We need people who have life experiences with the children in your care. You must be at least 21 years old to start fostering. 

Yes. We have many single foster carers who have a solid support network of family and friends who offer practical and emotional support when needed. The Olive Branch Fostering team is also always available to support you, so you will never feel alone when you foster with us. 

To foster, you need to have a spare room that will not require them to share with another member of your current household. Occasionally sibling placements can share a bedroom, but this is assessed on a case-by-case basis.  

You will have an initial phone call with one of our team for advice and information. If and when you are ready you will have a dedicated assessor who will visit and support you throughout the process. Various checks including the referee, medical and a DBS will be completed and you are required to attend a ‘Skills to Foster’ training course. The assessment process normally takes between 4-6 months.

Could you open your heart and home to a child who needs a fresh start and a safe space to call home?

Get in touch with us today

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