Everyone has heard of foster care yet it is still an oft-misunderstood concept. There are age-old prejudices which are far from accurate and a lot of people get mixed up with other types of young people’s care. Fostering is a much-needed service which many families and individuals enter into every year and gain lots from. Here are a few Fostering facts which you may be unaware of:
There are Over 90,000 Children in Foster Care in the UK
Although the need for Foster families may not be as urgent as in the days when babies born out of wedlock were forced to be put up for care, there is still a desperate need for loving stable homes for children and young people who need them. What many people don’t know is that people in many different circumstances can adopt – single people, same-sex couple, people who rent rather than own their home and there is no upper age limit on becoming a foster carer.
Fostering is Different to Adoption
Unlike adoption, the aim of fostering is to place a child or young person in a home with a view for them to be eventually reunited with their family (although sometime circumstance makes this impossible). An adopted child is brought up by the family as if they were one of their own, such bonds can form as a result of a foster placement but the set-up is usually more transient.
The First Adoption and Foster Laws were Passed in 1926
Legal foundations were not put in place for foster arrangement until between the World Wars. These were welcomed by all in the sector as it meant a clamp down on Dickensian orphanages and workhouses. The foster process today is much more legislated which benefits all parties.
A Foster Carer Does not have to already be a Parent
As mentioned, foster carers come from all different types of circumstances and personal situations. There is always a need for carers who provide different types of home settings and family homes are not necessarily the best fit for all children who have gone into care.
More Foster Carers and Families are Needed in the UK
14% of the foster care workforce leave the sector every year and therefore need to be replaced. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, visit an agency website such as Capstone for more information.
You Have the Final Say on the Placement
There is a popular misconception that once you are signed up to a foster agency you will be given placement without any say. The reality is that an agency will do their best to pair a child or young person with a carer or family who best suit their needs and the carer will choose whether or not to accept the arrangement.
You Can Foster and Work Full Time
Many foster carers manage to care for a child whilst fulfilling their career goals. Sometimes this may mean their partner shares responsibility if they work full time or it may mean adjusting their working hours to fit around the school run and other commitments.