Caring for a child is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but what skills do you need?
Can I become a Foster Carer?
Caring for a child is one of the most rewarding things you can invest your time in. What skills do you need to do it successfully? Fostering a child can be a daunting decision with many unanswered questions, will you get it right? Will the child benefit from your care? There are so many reasons for committing your time to it; did you know there are more than 62,000 children living with foster carers every day? Throughout the UK more carers are desperately needed to support children in care.
Could you be a foster carer? Before you can be considered, there are a few key attributes you will need…….
Age and wellbeing
You must be at least 18 years old before you can be considered to be a foster parent but there is no upper age limit. A child is a big commitment, are you fully prepared? No one can predict what the future holds, but it is important to consider your health when applying to foster.
If you are considering fostering it is important that your home is just as prepared as you are. You will need a spare room in your home, suitable for a young person to live in.
Something else to anticipate is the safety of your home. The assessor will visit your home during the assessment ensuring it is safe for a child to live with you.
To be able to foster a child you must be a full-time resident of the UK or have leave to remain. This means you can take up study or employment without restriction and you are granted to stay in the UK without a time limit. This is important so that the child can stay with you for however long you both wish, and there is no constraint on your time together.
Whether you have lived abroad before will come into question during the fostering process, but as long as you propose to stay in the UK this won’t in most cases be an issue in your application.
Probably the most important factor – you must have plenty of time! A foster child will need lots of care and attention, often on a full-time basis, so it is important that you can offer this when needed. A good support network of friends and family is essential in making this easier for you, but you can apply to foster if you are single.
As long as you have the patience and ability to offer time and care for the child, you can foster.
As a fostering agency cannot guarantee placements for all carers all of the time, it is essential that you are not reliant on the fostering allowance for your income. A generous allowance is paid, typically around £385 per week per child (usually tax-free), which will cover all expenses incurred in raising a child. You should never be out of pocket as a result of fostering!
If you are keen on fostering and feel you possess all of the above qualities, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our friendly team who will help you on your journey, just call us directly on 01440 732010. We look forward to hearing from you.