Essential Qualities All Foster Carers Need

Fostering a child is a wonderful thing to do. It’s a chance to offer a home, as well as safety, security and love to a child who needs it. Your commitment can change that child’s life for the better, giving them opportunities that they might not otherwise have had. Even short-term respite placements can improve a family’s quality of life and mental health. Many foster carers love the fulfilment of helping others, and most go on to foster repeatedly in the Future. But fostering isn’t for everyone. To be a great foster carer, there are some essential qualities that you need.


Being sympathetic isn’t the same as being empathetic. While sympathy is good, foster children don’t want you to feel sorry for them. They don’t need pity, they need understanding. An empathetic person is able to listen, learn and understand. No two foster placements will be the same, so being able to empathise with people is a valuable skill which will make you a great foster carer.


Applying to foster can take time, since you may need to make some changes and be assessed again. Waiting for placements can also take time, and some can be sudden. You can learn more about how to foster at but patience is a must. You’ll also need to be patient with new arrivals. It may take a while for a child to settle in and start to trust you.


Fostering is hugely rewarding, but like all parenting, there will be challenges along the way. There may be periods of challenging behaviour, changes you’ll need to adjust to and setbacks along the way. Good foster carers are resilient and able to carry on when times are tough.


If there’s one thing that all foster children need above all else, it’s stability. Foster families must be able to offer a stable and secure lifestyle to help children feel safe and secure no matter what.


Within that stability, you’ll need to be flexible. Your lifestyle should be stable, but you will also need to be able to cope with sudden changes and adjust to a new placement with new routines quickly without any stress.

Emotional Strength

Some foster children need a short-term home while their birth parents are unwell, or otherwise temporarily unable to care for them at home. Others come from much more challenging backgrounds. Many of us struggle to listen to horror stories when they involve children. A good foster parent has the emotional strength to take it all on, stay strong and offer their support and love.


Different children have different routines, needs and schedules. As a foster parent, you may also have to attend other appointments and meetings. Life can be busy and changeable. You’ll need to be organised to keep on top of it all.


Being able to love a child that you’ve just met can be challenging, especially when you know that they might not be with you for long, or when it takes them time to settle in. However, it’s what foster carers are best at.

If you have these qualities and feel like you’d make a great foster carer, why not look into it further? There are plenty of children out there that need your help.