Teachers’ skills are a great foundation for foster caring - Affinity Fostering
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Why teachers make ideal foster carers

Published 09 Nov 2021

Most of us can remember a favourite teacher, that person who helped us understand difficult concepts, who would smile when we asked a question, or who listened when we’d fallen out with friends on the playground. For many of us, we may not remember exactly what it was that they taught us, it’s more a feeling of nurturing and warmth. That same feeling is one that every foster carer hopes that the children and young people in their care will feel. Which is why we think we can safely argue that teachers also make ideal foster carers.

Like foster carers, most teachers enter the classroom because they want to nurture their students to become the best possible people they can. Teaching isn’t just about ensuring that students achieve grades (despite the massive focus on it), it’s also about being patient, determined and understanding, and about helping all children achieve their true potential. It is a vocation that requires a skillset very similar to that of a foster carer.

Many teachers who have converted their careers to work within fostering comment that it’s fantastic to be able to continue to prepare young people for the future away from the rigidity of a formal educational environment. Having increased flexibility, enables them to be far more responsive to the children and young people in their care, whilst still providing the stable foundations they need to flourish.

 

Teachers’ skills are a great foundation for foster caring

We’ve covered the joy of nurturing and watching young people flourish, but teachers have many more skills that can cross over to a career in foster care.

Organisation skills

For starters, the ability to plan and organise which is central to any career in education, is essential for foster carers looking to provide the stability that young people from dysfunctional families need. Imagine finding yourself in a home where you know exactly what you’ll be eating for dinner and when if previously you’ve lived a life where you had no idea where your next meal was coming from. Life changing.

An average of around 35% of children and young people in care have SEN statements and a further average of around 25% have SEN but are unstatemented. As any teacher who has dealt with differentiation in the classroom will know, having a plan and structures in place creates significant benefits for children with extra needs.

Behaviour Management

A classroom throws up a multitude of needs and behaviours and teachers have to be able to adapt quickly to them. Learning and understanding that some students need time out or some work well with a good phone call home can be invaluable. It also helps when tackling challenging behaviour. Some children who enter foster care will have experienced trauma or may never have experienced fair rewards and sanctions. They may act out. Being trained

and experienced in behaviour management enables you to deal with challenging moments calmly and fairly.

 

Understanding child protection

Every teacher has to undergo regular and rigorous child protection training and it’s the same with foster carers. Understanding child protection procedures and policies is an excellent grounding for anyone considering moving from teaching to foster care. Just knowing and understanding how to listen to a child or young person making a disclosure and what to do next can make the world of difference.

 

Are you considering switching careers?

If you are a teacher who is considering taking the step to becoming a foster carer the team at Affinity Fostering would love to hear from you. We offer extensive training to anybody joining the Affinity Family and our carers receive a generous fostering allowance.

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Why Affinity are the best agency for new foster carers

Affinity Fostering were rated as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2017. In-fact we’ve been rated Outstanding in every inspection since we opened our agency!