Complementary to the first project result, the second result of the Creating Care project consists in designing a tool for understanding foster families’ needs, perceptions and experiences. With that in mind we would like to share some of the findings of the focus groups the partners have been conducting with families and children.
In Romania, we discussed with seven foster care professionals and one official who is a case manager for children in placement care.
The main obstacles professionals in the foster care system and children face
What are the key elements/factors leading a successful foster care system?
Experienced foster parents advise those at the beginning of this profession to be committed and not to see fostering as a normal profession, as the affective component is very essential. For this, it is important having the foster parent actively involved, offering affection, moral support, and openness to take the child to do different extracurricular activities such as sports activities, where he/she can make friends.
In Portugal our discussion was conducted with three foster care mothers. The professional background of the participants was in education, special needs education and investigation.
What kind of obstacles did you face after becoming a foster family?
The obstacles pointed out by the participants were linked mostly to the characteristics of the child, articulation with the biological family, the time it takes to court to decide regarding the life plan for the child, lack of support from the professionals, adaptation to the new family settings, as well as bureaucratic and logistic difficulties.
What kind of obstacles do the children face in foster care?
What factors do you think are decisive in successful fostering?