TOP 10 TIPS for Promoting your Professionalism
TOP 10 TIPS for promoting your professionalism
- Maintain calm professionalism at all times.
Easier said than done sometimes, we very often work in highly charged settings and meetings, and often get frustrated, angry and can feel unheard, especially when advocating for our children. However, at times when you feel unheard or marginalised, it is imperative that you maintain a calm and professional approach.
- Avoid defensive reactions, take your time to think about what’s being said.
Sometimes we can feel accused or the finger pointed at us, especially when things are going wrong. Don’t go on the defensive, take your time as when our rational brain disengages we stop thinking straight and make knee jerk reactions.
- If in doubt
If in doubt don’t say anything or say, “I’ll get back to you on that”.
- Keep emails and other recordings professional, very short and fact-based
See “Your role as a professional” in the members’ area, and Top 10 Tips on reporting and recording.
- Keep supervision professional
If you have supervision in your home try to make it at a table, where you can have your laptop/iPad/notebook out ready to take notes, provide a drink and a more business-like setting. Your supervising social worker is not your friend, that’s not to say they may not be friendly and supportive, but remember they
work for your provider and everything is recorded. It is important to build a good working relationship with your supervising social worker but avoid getting into ‘friendly chats’, and remember that friendly chats are recorded too. Be professional at all times and communicate wisely.
- Know the legal framework that underpins your role and fostering
Get to know the legal framework and national minimum fostering standards so that you are knowledgeable in situations where you feel that policy or procedures are not being followed. Raise any issues in a calm professional manner. Read “Your role as a professional” in the FosterWiki members’ area.
- Create professional working relationships
Create a professional working relationship with your provider and social workers. Do not be over-friendly and emphasise your desire to work together with your fostering provider and the team around the child, even when things are not going so well reinforcing this, it is professional, effective and more likely to achieve the desired outcomes.
- Less can be more
Sometimes less is more, sometimes you will not like everything that is said or care plans that are made, but choose what is important rather than argue about everything, specifically the things you can not change.
- Remember the limitations of your role
This can often be hard as our children and young people become our family, however, we do not have PR (parental responsibility) at any time, ever, our roles are governed by the statutory legislation, fostering regulations and national minimum standards that underpin it, this is fostering.
- Advocate for your child
Remember first and foremost we are there to advocate for your child, in doing this we must come from a professional perspective of working with the team around our child, whilst stepping up if we or the child have not been heard, this is a delicate balance and must be done without conflict but by working together
with those around you, however hard this may feel at times.
Information, Help and Support
Help and support created for foster carers, by foster carers, we are the experts by experience. We have the first foster carers knowledge bank.
Access both the open pages and members area. Both are free to access and footprint-free. The member’s area gives you privileged confidential access to FosterWiki’s experts by experience for advice and guidance. You will also find short courses and guides from the foster carer’s perspective, top tips, allegation help, templates, and the ability to add to FosterWiki. With more content being uploaded regularly.
Please let us know what information or advice pages you would find useful and we will put them in place. https://fosterwiki.com/register/