Being a foster carer is not an easy job. It requires commitment and dedication. If you’ve decided to become a foster parent, you should consider a few things, like what type of fostering you can do and whether you are eligible. There are many ways to apply to become a foster carer, e.g., through your local council, fostering agencies, and even charities.
Starting your fostering career can be exciting, especially if you want to make a difference and help children and families in need. So, let’s take a look at the steps to becoming one.
Types of Fostering
There are five types of fostering, so you need to decide which one works for you. Short-term fostering includes respite fostering when parents have a short break from their children. Emergency fostering is when you have a child in your home with little to no notice.
Interim fostering is when a child stays with their foster parents for almost 24 months, and then they plan to return to their family or another permanent home. Long-term fostering is when you take care of a child for more than 24 months. Finally, permanent fostering is like adoption when the child stays with you permanently.
There are a few guidelines to start your foster career. Firstly, you need to be a full-time resident in the UK. Secondly, you must be over 18 to apply, but most agencies require only people over 21. Thirdly, you will need an extra bedroom for the child. You can apply even if you are single or partnered up. You can also have children and still be eligible to be a foster parent.
People from Scotland can start fostering in Edinburgh by applying online and going through the recruitment process. Many children need a room and a bed to feel safe and surrounded by caring people. After you’ve decided what type of fostering you would like to do and choose the agency you will go with, they will conduct some background checks to see if you are suitable for this job.
It usually takes around six months, and they check your medical history and if you have a criminal record. They will also inspect your home to make sure it is child friendly. Some fostering agencies will also require two references who will vouch for you.
After the background check is done, you will be interviewed by experts. They will assess if you can become a foster parent or not. If approved, you will sign a fostering agreement. This document states what type of support and training you will receive and that you will treat the child as if they’re your own without harming them.
Some people receive a foster child immediately after they sign up. For others, it might take a while, as it’s essential to match the child with a suitable foster family. You will be entitled to a weekly allowance to cover the child’s needs, such as food, clothes, and travel.
The fostering career is challenging but also rewarding. You will get the necessary support along the way while you get to do good for others.