Becoming a foster carer is a very rewarding experience that gives you the chance to make a real difference and change lives. If you have already decided to look into fostering a child, you may now be thinking about what you need to do to become a foster career, and what the requirements are. Keep reading to find out more about what you’ll need to get started, and what the steps for the process are.
Consider the Practical Side
Before you sign up to become a foster carer with Foster Care Associates, it’s important to consider the practical side of fostering. First of all, you will need to ensure that there is enough room in your home for another person to join the family. Remember that your foster child will need their own bedroom. Consider your working schedule and hours, and if they will allow you to spend plenty of time with your foster child. If you don’t drive, or have access to a car, think about how you are going to be able to take your foster child to and from school, family contact appointments, and other appointments and meetings.
Personal Skills and Qualities
Before deciding if becoming a foster carer is the right choice for you, it’s a good idea to think about the personal qualities and skills that you can bring. Ask yourself, do you have a genuine passion and interest when it comes to caring for a young child? Do you have a lot of empathy and patience to offer? Are you flexible and do you find it easy to adapt to circumstances that might change quickly? Are you resilient enough to be able to stay calm and stick with a child who may be affected by a previous traumatic experience, or finding adjusting to foster care in your home tough? If the answer to all of this is yes, then you may be a good fit.
Contacting the Agency
You can contact a foster care agency to speak to one of the team and get more personalised and specific answers to your questions. A good foster care agency knows that making the first step towards fostering for the first time can be quite a daunting experience, so they will be there to talk you through the process and answer any questions that you might have.
Training and Assessment
Before you will be able to foster a child, you will need to undergo some training to prepare you. Along with this, you will be assessed and will need to pass a series of checks before you can go ahead as a foster carer. These include residency checks to ensure that you have the right to live in the UK, background checks, and home checks to ensure that your property is suitable for a foster child. You don’t have to own a home, but you may need permission from the landlord, housing association or council if you are renting.
If you want to do something amazing, then becoming a foster carer is a wonderful way to make a difference in the life of a child.