What It Takes to Be a Good Foster Parent: 4 Important Traits

You may have been reading about a very real need for foster parents here in the UK. Contrary to what so many people believe, it doesn’t take wealth or a huge home to qualify as a foster care home. However, what it will require of you are the following four traits that will help you to be a good foster parent. They are not listed in order of importance because each trait required of foster parents is just as important as all the others. If this sounds like you, then please seriously consider how important you can be in the life of a child, or children, who really need what you have to offer.

[image: pawel l]

1. Love

Love is something that you just cannot fake. Children, especially those who have been neglected or abused, can sense immediately if your expressions of love are genuine. Most children who arrive in the foster care system are more sensitive than you might think, and these are the children who will need all the love you can offer. It isn’t necessarily what you say but rather the way in which they are welcomed into your home with open arms.

2. Stability

Another of the very important traits a good foster parent should exhibit is stability. When interviewing prospective foster parents, Orange Grove Foster Care in Croydon will want to assess the level of stability in your life. Bear in mind that many of these children had very little stability in their young lives so they were constantly living in chaos. Children need a stable environment in which to flourish. This doesn’t mean that you will be disqualified if you’ve just recently moved; it’s more about the relationships in your life, especially the home environment.

3. Empathy

While you may be sympathetic of the things these children have experienced, there is a very real difference between empathy and sympathy. An empathetic person can truly get in touch with the feelings of another. To put it another way, sympathy expresses sadness for what they are feeling but empathy is having the ability to feel, on some level, what they are feeling.

4. Communication

This leads us to the final trait on our list which is communication. It is very important how you express yourself to children who are almost certainly hurting more than you can imagine. In addition to being able to express your genuine desire to be there for them, it is essential that you talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling and what they feel could make things better for them. It is imperative that their needs are being met. Those needs go far beyond the physical realm. A good communicator can draw out the emotional needs of the child so they can work together to begin the healing process.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing they are loved and that their feelings are valid. It’s a matter of knowing you will be there for them in their darkest hours and are willing to hear what they have to say. A loving and stable home environment is probably what they need most and that’s exactly what you can offer.

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