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From Union Chair to Foster Care: How Dai Transformed His Skillset into Fostering Success

Dai Badger Blog (800 X 600 Px) (1)

Have you ever wanted to become a foster carer but are unsure whether you have the skills required? You don’t need to have a background in childcare or have worked in a career related to childcare.

In fact, many of the skills required to become a foster carer are not directly related to looking after children at all. Transferrable skills such as communication skills and working with other professionals, as well as empathy, are just as important to the role of a foster carer. Coming from a corporate career into the world of fostering is absolutely a viable option and many of our current foster carers have done just that.

Foster carer David Badger (Dai) had a thriving career as a Charge Hand with the Local Authority and as a Chairman for Unite Union before becoming a foster carer. 7 years later he is having a successful career specialising in Parent and Child placements.

When Dai met wife Sue, she had already been working as a foster carer for 7 years as part of the carer cohort at Calon Cymru. Seeing Sue’s passion for fostering it was clear that this would become a part of Dai’s life too.

We started our fostering career together supporting standard full time placements, offering children a life where they were cared for and safe. Over time we changed our career path to support placements within Parent and Child care. Being part of the process that gives parents an opportunity to prove themselves capable and to keep families together is a tough role but knowing that the right outcomes are being found for these families is so rewarding

All foster carers at Calon Cymru are provided regular training to support them in feeling capable and safe in doing their jobs. Certain training is mandatory and must be completed by all foster carers but  there are also lots of other training options that prepare foster carers for the specific elements of the placements they work with. For Dai, Calon Cymru has provided specific training to support him and his wife Sue to feel supported, confident and prepared to fulfil the expectations for providing Parent and Child foster care.

Although my background doesn’t include childcare I feel incredibly supported and confident to do this job because of everything that Calon Cymru do

As a Parent and Child foster carer Dai and Sue support parents in proving their capacity and capability to care for their children. There are a number of reasons that a parent might be referred to be supported in this type of placement but ultimately the purpose is to give the parents the chance to receive support to show they are ready and able to take care of their children. These types of placements could be to support mum and dad as a couple or separately and the children in their care could vary in age starting from newborn upwards.

Although Dai’s background is not in childcare much of what he brings to the role is not solely gained from the specialist training provided. In fact, a lot of the skills that make Dai a great foster carer are transferable skills that he gained from his previous career.

My professional career prepared me to become a foster carer as it provided me with great people skills. Managing a team and chairing meetings develops skills in communicating well, having patience to deal with difficult situations and finding ways to support people in successfully achieving their goals

When asked about his fostering experience Dai was extremely positive about what it has meant to him to be a foster carer, why he thinks others should consider becoming a foster carer and how he feels about being a Calon Cymru foster carer.

I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of people who need the support of foster carers. I love working alongside and supporting people to be the best they can be and meet their needs. I would 100% recommend fostering with Calon Cymru who has always supported us over the years. Me and Sue love the difference we make to each placement and the experiences that they bring into our lives

Read more about Parent & Child fostering here or enquire below for more information on becoming a foster carer.




  • Advice
  • Parent and Child

Date published

18 March 2024

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