There are some misperceptions related to foster care that may be preventing some ideal candidates from stepping forward and claiming their spot as a Chrysalis Care foster carer. The path to becoming a foster carer is an intense one. Potential foster carers are subject to many checks and an assessment that throws a spot light on practically every corner of their lives, past and present. This can be daunting, especially if there are some hidden pains or misdemeanours lurking in one or more of those corners.
Perhaps one of the misperceptions is that if someone has experienced abuse, trauma or loss, or had a less than ideal upbringing themselves, that they would not be suitable foster carers. Not so. What we at Chrysalis Care are interested in, is in how this has been processed. We are interested in what steps have been taken to respond to the impact of any abuse, trauma or loss and in how this has been used to inform growth and learning. In fact, such experiences can help people to become excellent foster carers, having an understanding of and empathy for some of the trials faced by children who are fostered.
Similarly, if an applicant to fostering has a criminal record. The first essential action is to not try to hide it. This is a complete ‘no-no’ and could lead to a circumstance whereby we would have assessed someone as suitable, to one that is completely untenable, based on lack of trust. Having a criminal record does not rule someone out as a foster carer. There are some previous convictions that may be considered. This is taken on a case by case process and as long as the applicant has been honest, Chrysalis Care will pay due regard to the application. As with experiences of abuse, trauma or loss, the important factor is about how the individual has processed their conviction. What did they learn and how have they developed and grown as a result? The worst that a potential foster carer can do is lie. This shows a lack of learning and growth and when the statutory check shows up the conviction, there is no way forward for the applicant. Of course, there are some convictions that are indisputably barriers to becoming a foster carer, such as those related to violence or safeguarding issues, especially towards children and young people.
So, if you think your colourful past may present you from becoming a foster carer, think again.