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Foster carers take on many roles during their time looking after children. One of these jobs is to mentor a young person and help them to find their passion in the world of work. There are plenty of ways this can be done, and this guide focuses on how to encourage your foster child to find their career path.
Talk About Their Interests
A great place to start is by discussing what makes them feel excited, passionate, and engaged. While they may not have all of the answers, there could be snippets and sparks to build upon. It is great to start the ball rolling by sitting down together and discussing their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
Once the conversation has started to grow, it is time to get organised. One method that works well is to create a visual aid in the form of a mind map. This is a way to generate ideas and keep track of what you discuss in a space that can be accessed time and time again. Use a whiteboard, or a big sheet of paper that is stuck to the wall and encourage your foster child to add to it whenever the mood strikes.
Scout Out Local Opportunities
When a foster carer begins to look after a child, they will be equipped with knowledge, skills, and a great set of people around them to make the role easier. A big part of this will be engaging with your local area, and it is here that you will find the best career opportunities to explore with the children you look after. There are always apprenticeship opportunities nearby that merit your time and energy, and it could be the thing that sparks the fuse of engagement.
Be the Voice of Reason
It will also be your job to stay strong and offer a voice of reason too. It is not uncommon for young people to have big dreams, after all, but staying realistic is vital. Setting achievable goals and finding ways to make them happen is the thing that will build a solid foundation for sustainable growth and development.
Liaise with School
Regardless of how your foster child feels about their education, it is useful to have a strong connection with their school. Your voice will be the one that advocates for their best interests and supports authentic support in this setting. As soon as you begin the search for foster care near me, you should also think about where the schools are and what will be expected from you in this context. It is better to be prepared for what’s to come than to be taken by surprise further down the line. Schools often have fantastic resources for supporting young people in finding the right career for them, and they will have the best input regarding educational strengths and interests too.
Every foster child deserves the opportunity to explore what they will do with their life. Once they leave a foster home and become an independent adult, everything you have done will stay with them.