Fostering is rarely an individual affair as the carers depend on their agencies and want to ensure they are always there for them. In some cases, foster carers are not happy with their agency for one or multiple reasons. When that happens, transferring to another agency is something to consider so you feel happy and supported as a foster carer. But what specific signs should you watch out for when considering this option?
Lack of Professional Support
Support is one of the most important considerations when becoming a foster parent. Foster carers need to know their foster care agency will support them, especially because they deal with children with a history of negative experiences. Sadly, a lack of continuing support is a common reason why foster carers switch agencies.
In some cases, the physical and emotional support they once received wanes. This should never happen because foster carers should not be expected to shoulder everything alone. Whether through home visits, support groups, appointments with the foster care agency, or phone calls, foster carers need to receive continuing care.
A Lack of Resources
The resources a foster carer needs depends on their needs and the child’s. In some cases, a foster carer needs additional resources, especially if they are dealing with something they have not experienced before; a friendly ear if they need someone to talk to; and various other resources they need to be a more effective foster carer. If these resources are unavailable, a foster carer can feel abandoned and no longer part of a team. If this happens, you have a good reason to switch agencies.
Foster carers considering switching should find a foster care agency that listens to them and their foster children. One way in which foster care agencies do this is by hosting events that bring carers and children in care together. These events allow everyone to be heard so their fostering experience remains positive.
A Lack of Respite Options
Respite fostering involves a carer stepping in for another in case they feel overwhelmed or need a break. Respite care is incredibly important for foster carers finding fostering challenging and thus need some help. Many foster care agencies provide respite services for their foster carers. The respite carer comes in for a night or two so the foster carers can take a well-deserved break. Some agencies also have regular respite options for carers caring for kids with behavioural difficulties or special educational needs.
If your foster agency does not provide this option and you start to feel burned out, it is a good idea to consider a different one.
A Lack of Training
Being loving and caring are both important qualities for being a foster carer. However, you also need training to be the best foster carer possible and give your foster children the best support and care they deserve. A lack of additional and continuing support is a good reason to switch.
If it were possible, every foster carer would stay with their foster agency for as long as possible. However, things do not always work out that way, and a foster carer might need to change agencies. There are legitimate reasons for this, notably a lack of the support and the continuing training foster carers need to provide the care, love and support their foster children deserve.