Master These 6 Essential Skills Before Foster Caring

There are more than 4,000 children in the UK foster system and thousands more out there needing a secure environment. However, there’s a severe imbalance between children in need and the number of foster carers. Therefore, if you’re in a position to provide care and love to a child crying out for stability, you’ll be making an actual difference in the world and will find satisfaction from the role.


Before you decide if foster care is the right career choice, you’ll need to spend some time reflecting on your current position. For example, if you have children, you’ll need to have an open discussion with them about the upcoming changes and potential disruption to their routine. Additionally, you’ll need to fully assess your current skills and research ways to improve.


Communication is key to being a successful foster carer, and it’s not just with the children in your care. For example, you’ll need to interact with judges, doctors, teachers, the foster agency, such as, therapists, birth parents, social workers, and so much more.

Conflict Resolution and Positive Discipline

Children in foster care come from traumatic backgrounds, with many of them suffering neglect and abuse. When a child lives through such circumstances, they may exhibit behaviour that doesn’t fit your house rules. Therefore, you need to familiarise yourself with positive discipline methods and strengthen your conflict resolution skills. Regardless of what methods you use, there is absolutely zero tolerance for physical forms of punishment – you will have to sign an agreement to this effect.

Collaborative Abilities

Fulfilling a care plan for foster children typically involves several different professionals, which is where the ability to collaborate ties in with effective communication. It will be expected that you attend meetings with professionals and your foster children’s biological parents, and you must be punctual and arrive prepared for them. If you fail to engage in meetings, you’ll be out of the loop when it comes to treatment plan progress.


Children in foster care are often grieving the loss of their past – even if the environment was abusive and full of neglect. Therefore, you need to show unwavering kindness and understanding. When a foster child acts up, remember that it’s not coming from a place of malice. If you can be compassionate to all children in your care, you’ll find it much easier to build strong relationships and manage behaviour.


Being a foster carer won’t always be easy, which is why you need to be headstrong to overcome any hurdles thrown your way. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute and reach out to your caseworker, which will be there to offer several insights.

If you’re feeling nervous about becoming a foster carer, there’s nothing wrong with that. As soon as you realise that you have the skill above within and make first contact, you’ve overcome the first major hurdle – it’s all about providing high levels of care and growing from then on.