In a trusting environment, the foster family can offer a child the affection and the physical and psychological conditions necessary for physical, intellectual, and psychological development while respecting the child’s history, personality, family origins, freedom of thought, and religion.
Families who have the best chances of succeeding in fostering a child are those who are flexible and open to change. They also :
- Have respect for the socially disadvantaged ;
- Do not have preconceived ideas regarding the child’s future ;
- Do not deny a child’s behavioural problems ;
- Know their abilities and limits ;
- Are capable of accepting a child’s limits ;
- Maintain hope in regards to the child’s development ;
- Support the child during his or her development ;
- Do not try to be substitutes for the biological parents ;
- Do not ask the child to change ;
- Are willing to gradually build up a relationship with the child.
Their role is to :
- Listento the child;
- Observe the child and be attentive to his/her development in different areas: emotional, social, physical, verbal, cognitive, etc.;
- Help the child to generate a positive self-image and self-confidence;
- Help the child create a positive view of life and the world;
- Allow the child to progress towards his or her independence;
- Ensure appropriate material conditions: each child in foster care should have his or her own personal space, adequately furnished (each child will have his or her own room);
- Accept the Foster Care’s social worker’s visits and agree to share with them their observations and concerns;
- Organize regular medical visits (vaccinations, keeping the health record up to date, preventive and curative treatments, visiting the child during hospitalisation);
- Participate in the child’s school life (help with and supervision of school work, meeting with teachers, etc.) and include the Foster Care social worker.
- Support and promote educational activities needed for family and social inclusion;
- Promote appropriate activities regarding the outside world;
- Participate in any necessary support activities (counselling, rehabilitation, etc.);
- Follow the administrative processes required by the service;
- Teach the child how to wisely manage pocket money;
- Organise interesting holidays with the child;
- Allow the child to visit his or her family and meet the people important for them, in agreement with the Court and the service;
- Take all steps to allow the child to have remembrances of his or her life (pictures, toys, drawings, various objects, clothes …).
The family informs the social worker immediately following any serious incidents regarding the child.