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The Essential Character Traits Of A Foster Parent

As we all know, the journey of being a foster parent can be as challenging as it is rewarding. A foster parent provides a temporary haven for children whose birth families are unable to care for them, giving them a chance to thrive in a secure, loving environment.

Anyone who is considering fostering a child should know that there will be some challenges ahead. However, fostering is much easier if you possess some of the essential character traits needed for the role. This article will delve into the essential traits a person should possess to become an effective foster parent.


Fostering involves not only welcoming a child into your home but also respecting their past and family ties. Undeniably, the cornerstone of successful foster care is compassion. If you are considering training through your fostering agency of choice in Worcestershire then you need a healthy dose of compassion to start with. A foster parent must be able to empathise with the children placed in their care, understanding, and responding to their feelings with kindness and sensitivity.

Many foster children have undergone traumatic experiences and need someone who can offer solace and understanding, not criticism or impatience. Sadly, compassion is a character trait that you cannot be taught. If you feel like you are already a compassionate individual, then fostering a child might just be the path for you.


In fostering, situations can change rapidly. Court dates can be rescheduled, birth parents' visiting rights can change, and children's behaviour can fluctuate.

That is why flexibility is paramount for foster parents as they navigate this unpredictable landscape. It means being open to alterations in routines, ready for unexpected challenges, and adaptable in your approach to solving problems. Furthermore, these children might display challenging behaviour as a response to their past traumas. Your flexibility and patience can allow you to help the child navigate these behaviours and feelings, offering steady support as the child learns and grows.

A Good Listener

Being a good listener isn't just about hearing the words spoken. It is about understanding the feelings behind those words. It is also about 'listening' to the non-verbal cues that reveal what the child might be unable to express verbally.

Everyone who has interacted with children before should know that they aren’t always the most verbal communicators. That is why being a good listener can help foster parents decipher the child's needs and fears, allowing them to provide appropriate care and support.


Being a foster parent is not a job for the faint-hearted. It demands a multitude of traits, including compassion, resilience, patience, flexibility, advocacy skills, listening skills, openness to learning, and respect for the child's history.

However, the rewards are immeasurable. You have the chance to make a genuine difference in a child's life, offering them the love, care, and stability they might otherwise lack. By embodying these traits, you can become the beacon of light that guides a child through their most difficult times.