If you’re a veteran – after serving with any of our armed forces – you’ve already faced some of the greatest challenges of your life. Not least the challenge of adapting to civilian life. Which may very well mean you’re the ideal person to look at a new challenge.
The challenge of becoming a foster carer.
The very qualities that fitted you for service in the first place will stand you in good stead. A recent article pointed to five of those qualities that every veteran will have – and should be aware of.
- The ability to ‘get things done’ – however challenging they may appear.
- An aptitude for learning ‘whatever is put in front of you’ quickly and without fuss.
- Loyalty – to your country, your comrades, and your mission in life.
- Integrity – because everything in your training has taught you to be honest and accountable for your actions.
- A strong work ethic – ensuring you’re punctual, disciplined, and dedicated to achieving the goals you’ve been set.
Hardly surprising that organisations who employ a veteran find them ‘particularly strong in areas relating to communication, planning and time management, team-working, leading and inspiring others, and being able to pick up specialist knowledge and solve problems’, according to a 2016 report.
Ideal qualities, too, if you are considering foster care.
The foster care challenge
Children and young people in the care system have many different reasons for being there. But many (though by no means all) have had traumatic experiences resulting from violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or the mental breakdown of a parent. Any foster child needs a safe, caring and supportive home. And people they can trust, who will take the time – and make the effort – to understand and help them.
As a veteran, you’ve met and worked with people from many different backgrounds – especially during your training. You’ve seen the impact of that training, turning young men and women into confident, disciplined professionals. And your career has taken you to places – and events – outside many people’s experience.
Meaning you’re better equipped than most to care for a vulnerable foster child. To guide them on their way to a better life and to provide a strong and trustworthy role model.
Being a foster carer is challenging. It’s a huge responsibility. Which means that many people – understandably – question their ability to take it on. So it’s important to know that you will have excellent support. You’ll work as part of a team which may include your supervising social worker, the child’s birth family and the child’s social worker. Not to mention any education and health professionals who need to be involved. So your experience of teamwork will be invaluable.
Like to know more?
Are you a veteran who would like to know more about becoming a foster carer? Or do you know a veteran who’s looking for a new life challenge? Then we would be delighted to help, and to discuss possible opportunities. Just call us on 01440 732010, send us an email at [email protected] or complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch