How to foster children

How to foster children

People interested in becoming foster carers do not need any special qualifications to be a foster carer.

It is their personal qualities which are most important and fostering agencies will support and prepare applicants through all stages in the fostering process. Similarly, if people have worked with children or have qualifications in childcare, their personal qualities will be just as useful when applying to become a foster carer.

Just as there is no stereotypical formula for a foster carer welcoming a child into their family, foster children will all have different feelings about their foster families. Foster carers will get training on how to empathise with a foster child and encourage them to feel safe within their family.

All people enquiring about becoming foster carers, and anyone who will have close links with the child will have to undergo police and criminal record checks. If someone has committed an offence against children, they will not be able to foster.

Adults can be a foster carer whether single, living with a partner, married or divorced. Wherever possible, foster children are encouraged to maintain and develop birth family contact and friendships. However there are appropriate and clear guidelines surrounding contact arrangements, and fostering services are available to provide support and advice to help carers manage contact.

Anyone applying to foster just need to be able to provide a child with their own bedroom and a stable, safe and comfortable environment whether they own or rent their home.

Applicants can be foster carers if they claim a disability allowance however they should think carefully about the challenges fostering may bring. The Foster Care Agency would be happy to discuss this further as there may be some medical or health conditions which could affect an application or the type of fostering possible to do.

People can apply to foster whatever their sexual orientation and their application to be a foster carer cannot be affected by their sexuality, ethnicity or religion.

It is of paramount importance to choose the right fostering agency, there are over seven hundred in the UK. Simply Fostering, the UK national foster carer recruitment website provides help by answering questions and identifying the most suitable local fostering agencies with vacancies.

Simply Fostering help people interested in becoming foster carers to act on the Government’s advice to ‘contact more than one Fostering Agency if you are interested in a fostering career’.

In ideal circumstances children who need foster care would stay in their local area. When this is not possible, transport arrangements will be made for the child to continue attending their regular school. This arrangement might change once the stability and length of a foster care placement has been established.

Because being a foster carer involves caring for a child, all potential foster carers going through an application process or assessment have to be asked about their background and lifestyle. All Fostering Agencies have to record this information and will share and ask for information from appropriate agencies like the health service or the criminal records bureau. However, applicants consent is needed for these checks to uphold the Data Protection Act.

Everyone who wants to become a Foster carer has to undertake an assessment. The assessment is about exploring their individual skills and experiences which will be as varied as the children who need foster carers.

The foster care assessment also provides applicants with information about fostering and how foster caring will affect them, their family and friends. If applicants have children, it is important that they talk with them at an early stage about being part of a fostering family.

As an application to foster proceeds, applicants will be invited to attend a training course. Most fostering providers use the Fostering Network course called “Skills to Foster”. The course gives people the opportunity to learn more about foster care and fostering and is part of the assessment process. This is also a chance to meet other people applying to become foster carers and to hear what approved foster carers have to say about their experiences of fostering.

Before a child is placed with you, you should receive a report on the When a child is placed with foster carers, they will be provided with information which informs them about the child’s background and highlights any of the child’s needs which will need to be respected and upheld. Foster carers will also have been prepared for starting foster care placements as part of their assessment process.

All Fostering Agency Providers make every effort to prevent placements breaking down. Professional support is available to provide foster families with extra support to help them work together to maintain placements as well as placing children with families they can be happy in. However, should a placement break down the child will be moved to another placement and given extra support as will the foster family.

It is of paramount importance to choose the right fostering agency, there are over seven hundred in the UK. Simply Fostering, the UK national foster carer recruitment website provides help by answering questions and identifying the most suitable local fostering agencies with vacancies.

Contact Foster Care News  to apply to foster children.

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