Power, Privilege and Patience

Posted 9 May 2023

Footprints Foster Care - Power, Privilege and Patience

King Charles III has officially been crowned alongside Queen Camilla. Their Majesties’ Coronation did not disappoint, including everything we could expect from a modern take on a time-honoured British occasion. A little pomp, a lot of ceremony, a parade and of course rain made the day one to remember. We even got an extra Bank Holiday and the chance to be entertained by Prince Louis. We’re going to throw the attention back the King now though. It was his day, after all.

Three words recently spoken about King Charles have resonated with us. They are power, privilege and patience. We get them. We know these attributes can apply to foster carers, social workers and His Majesty alike. But how?

First, power. Undeniably, the King has more power than most. He can start and stop parliament, with all legislation needing his royal assent to become law. As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, he can declare war and make peace. He can travel without a passport and drive without a licence. Foster carers hold none of this sway, yet still have incredible power. Their job is to advocate for any child in their care, to provide safety, encouraging and enabling that child to grow into the best possible version of themselves.

In the absence of able parents, foster carers have the power to ensure a child’s rights are upheld. They can help them develop gifts, deal with trauma, or simply learn to brush their teeth. As both Voltaire and Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. It is a big responsibility to be King and a big responsibility to be a foster carer, we hugely respect both.

Next, privilege. Their Majesties undoubtedly lead privileged lives in terms of wealth, status and other luxuries. The trade-off we assume, being media scrutiny, lifetime service and other restrictions. Our regular lives can seem luxurious too though. Children in the care system often come from under-privileged backgrounds and even wealth may hide dark, abusive secrets. There are different types of privilege. Foster homes may seem very different and perceived privilege can be a barrier, but foster carers work hard to bond with every child placed under their roof. And they consider it a privilege to do so.

Finally, patience. In a recent documentary, the Queen explained with a wry smile, that the King isn’t very patient. It seems however, this is not all bad. It was impatience that saw him, as Prince of Wales, set up The Prince’s Trust – a charity dedicated to helping young people facing adversity to succeed. Conversely, it is patience that has seen him spend most of his life training for his current role. Foster carers too, must find this balance of patience and action. Working with foster children can be rewarding and encouraging, but it also requires lots of P A T I E N C E. Children can arrive with challenges, appointments may be in short supply, birth parents might be unreliable. All these things and more mean foster carers need wisdom to know when to sit back and when to act. A special attribute.

In one of the final public acts of the Coronation, King Charles III took a salute from his massed armed forces. Foster carers, for your power, privilege and patience, we salute you too. If like the King, you’re thinking of a new role in your own life and interested in becoming a foster carer, please get in touch. We’d love to chat over a cucumber sandwich.

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Footprints Foster Care Ltd
Registered Company No 07879639

Longham Business Park
168 Ringwood Road
Dorset BH22 9BU

T: 01202 573408
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