Five careers that lend themselves perfectly to foster care
Whether you’re suffering career burnout or just looking for a change, a career in foster care can be extremely rewarding and offers a work/life balance not often available in other jobs. Here are five careers that lend themselves perfectly to a career in foster care because of the skills required and the professional experience you’ll already have under your belt. We’re always on the lookout for new foster carers, and if you have the relevant transferable skillset, you could be a perfect prospective foster carer.
Teacher (or any child facing role such as teaching assistant or nursery worker)
To be a good teacher you have to have patience, the ability to communicate, often with children who might not be very good at communicating themselves, and unbound enthusiasm for getting the most out of the young people in your care. These are all great attributes for any prospective foster carer to possess. Teachers and foster carers both have the potential to make a huge difference to a child’s life so it’s only natural that the two roles go hand in hand. We have a number of amazing foster carers who started their professional lives as teachers but decided to retrain as foster carers. You can read here about Five Rivers foster carer Carole Ann who joined us after spending 35 years as a teacher.
Residential care worker
If you’ve worked in residential care, it’s very likely that you will have developed a skillset that would be highly valued in any prospective foster carer. If you’ve worked in a children’s home or other residential care setting, you’ll probably have had experience in establishing relationships with children or young people who often find it difficult to connect with people or maybe you’ll have had to provide emotional support to an upset or unsettled child. Experience of this kind is invaluable and we’d welcome enquiries from anyone from this professional background interested in finding out more about foster care.
Carers are an integral and often over looked cog in the UK’s care system. They provide priceless support not only to the elderly but often those with learning difficulties or mental health difficulties. Carers need to be empathetic, respectful, reliable and patient – all of which are excellent attributes in any foster carer. From a practical point of view, carers have a range of skills and experience at their disposal including basic medical training which is always useful when working closely with children.
Nurses truly are the Kings and Queens of multitasking. They have a never-ending to-do list while on shift but still find time to ensure patients are as happy and comfortable as possible; from caring for patients and administering medication to updating doctors and conducting ward rounds. Nurses develop a range of key skills, such as communication, the ability to work flexibly and use initiative in tricky situations, all of which would be really beneficial in a foster care setting. Plus, even though foster care is technically a 24-hour job, it does mean no more night shifts or having to work over the holidays.
If you’re a social worker, the chances are that you’ll have already had some experience with foster carers or children in foster care. This knowledge can be really useful, particularly when it comes to understanding the fostering process. It also means you’ll be used to dealing with confidential and sensitive material and have an understanding of how to support a child that may have experienced trauma or neglect. Exposure to such issues is a difficult part of foster care but an essential one nonetheless.
For more information on establishing a career in foster care or to speak to a member of our recruitment team, contact us here.