5 Transferable job skills to become a foster carer


Despite popular belief, you don’t necessarily need childcare experience to become a foster carer. In fact, there are many roles that provide relevant skills in order for you to succeed as a foster parent. For instance, if you work in a sector where you have to take a person-centred approach, chances are that these skills can be transferable to make you a good foster carer. In this guide, we explore the key transferable skills it takes to become a foster carer - you may have acquired these abilities in your profession, or even in your everyday life.  

What is ‘relevant experience’ for foster care?

Although you may not have direct experience in working with children, you may have already gained relevant skills in your professional career. Here are a few examples of job roles that equip you with relevant fostering skills:

  • Nurse
  • Police officer
  • Teacher
  • Prison officer
  • Carer
  • Social worker
  • Caring assistant
  • Teaching assistant

Even if you do not work or have experience working in any of these roles, you shouldn’t automatically count yourself out. It is possible that you have gained transferrable skills elsewhere in life which will allow you to care for young people and children in need of a home.

Useful foster carer skills include:

1.      Patience: when fostering, you will most likely be dealing with children from various backgrounds. They may have different life experiences to you, and you perhaps won’t understand the reasons for some of the behaviour they display. It is important to have patience and the willingness to learn about your foster child, their past experiences and preferences, in order to make their new home experience the best you can.

2.      Empathy: you need to be able to empathise with your foster child to truly understand how they are feeling. Many children who enter the fostering system have most likely suffered physical or emotional abuse, which can, in turn, affect how they communicate. Empathy is key in making a child comfortable in their new home as it shows you can understand their needs and wants.

3.      Adaptability: fostering is a big responsibility – one that may require you to drop prior commitments to make time for fostering duties. Adaptability is also incredibly fundamental for those who decide to take on short term foster placements, as you will need to be able to adjust to different children more often and sometimes at little notice.

4.      Determination: fostering a child can be incredibly rewarding, however in the same sentiment, it comes with its challenges. That’s why you will need to be determined to build a good relationship with your foster child and persevere with ensuring they have the best chance at development as possible.

5.       Team player: when you embark on your fostering journey, you will not be alone. In fact, you will have a good support network around you to help you every step of the way. Being a good team player who is able to communicate with social workers and other carers is key to implementing the best care plan for your foster child placements.

Skills to foster course

Here at Excel Fostering, we provide you with extensive training courses to equip you with the right skills to become a foster parent. This course helps to raise awareness about the variety of skills that are required to become a foster carer – and provides informative detail about the role and responsibilities. Visit our skills to foster course page for more information.

Foster carer skills

In short, you don’t necessarily need childcare experience to start fostering, as these life skills can be acquired from your previous job or general life. If you feel that you already possess these abilities, chances are that you are well equipped to make a positive impact in young people’s lives. If you would like to find out more, do not hesitate to get in touch.  

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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Find out more about fostering with Excel Fostering.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

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Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering.