Is it for you?
Want to be part of a child’s upbringing, and make a real difference in children’s lives, help keep them safe and free from more harm?
Yes? UK successful fosterparents come from all backgrounds and with a range of experiences just like yours. So read on to find out more!
When thinking about applying, everyone should begin to consider the categories of placements that would fit with you and your family, and the types of placements you might want to look after such as babies, children, teenagers, mother and baby, asylum seekers, special needs children, or a mix of different types.
Applicants can be approved for one or all of the categories which include respite, short term or long term placements, depending on your decision and suitability. Usually the broader your approval means more choice because of the higher number of placements being offered by the agency.
Deciding to take the next step, then after your assessment which takes about 4 months, you will be interviewed by your agency Panel then registered and approved by your agency.
This is when the changes start to happen – some people give up work or go part time, an agency social worker will be allocated, and that all important first placement will be made.
All that training and life experience comes together to make sure that the looked after child doesn’t feel different, starts to believe they are not to blame or a burden. Because most of all, they want to live like other children, be treated fairly, feel wanted and to have the opportunity to stay in touch with their family.
Sounds easy? Actually it can be hard work because it takes persistence, empathy, skill, knowledge and a ‘no give up attitude’ to create the trusting place where an often distressed and confused child can express their feelings, feel listened to, develop trust and start to settle in a stranger’s home.
Then there’s the meetings with social workers, the appointments, training events to attend, and managing contact arrangements with the children’s family.
So looking after other people’s children takes more than being a parent, but people already doing the job will say that the rewards far outweigh the work involved and that importantly, life changes for the better and everyone in the family will benefit from their experiences.
So why not find out more?