Perhaps your children have left home, and you feel you can offer a safe, secure home to a child. Maybe you have a spare bedroom, or your lifestyle has changed, leaving you with more time. You could even have been inspired by foster carers you know or have seen in the media. However, you will probably have questions about the process of becoming a foster carer.
Here’s what you need to know…
How to Get Started
If you want to know how to become a foster parent, the first step is to contact the local authority or a fostering agency. There is no commitment at this point, it is purely an expression of interest, usually through completing an online form.
Finding Out More
Local fostering agencies and the local authority run regular information sessions for prospective foster carers. This is the ideal opportunity to find out what the role entails, the requirements and ask any questions you may have. You may also have a home visit.
There is an application process which initially involves completing a form, followed by an assessment process. This can take time to complete as there are home checks, background checks and social work visits to be carried out. This is vital to ensure the suitability of anyone who is applying.
Even if you have had children of your own, the experience of caring for foster children can still be daunting – after all, you’ve not done it before. Training courses are an excellent way of developing the skills needed to take on the role of foster carer and ensuring you can provide quality care for any children you welcome into your home.
The Panel and Beyond
For many people, the panel is a life-changing moment – it is where your assessment report is reviewed by an independent group to decide whether or not you are a suitable candidate. If you are, the next step is to match you with a child in need of a foster home.
What is Foster Caring Like?
Becoming a foster carer is a big decision and can be a steep learning curve, yet many foster carers
say it is the best thing they have ever done. Some people refer to it as a ‘calling’ and it is certainly a
one-of-a-kind role. Although foster carers are entitled to allowances and tax relief, it is more than a job – it is the opportunity to provide a child with a stable environment in which they can thrive, whether for respite, on a short-term placement or for a longer period of time.
There are always children in need of foster carers, which is why it is great that people are keen to find out more about what is involved. Foster caring is a rewarding role that makes an enormous difference – to both the foster children and foster carer.
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter or BlogLovin and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram. If you’re interested, you can find out more about me here and while I’ve got your attention, if you’re wondering why some of my posts lately are a little bit less frugal then have a read of this post. This is a collaborative post