Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can go through. It gives you the chance to raise an underprivileged child so that they can have the best possible upbringing in your care before they can find a permanent home.
Child fostering is big decision to make as you will be responsible for the well-being of a young child and if you haven’t had children of your own, it can be quite tricky. If you are truly interested in becoming a foster carer, then there are some steps that you must follow.
To begin with, you need to contact your local care agency and ask them for details about becoming a foster carer. They will send you information and answer any questions that you have. They will then visit you at your home to discuss fostering with you further. If you decide that you want to carry on, then the next step will be requestioned for an application. The advisor who came to see you will then assess your eligibility.
The Application Process
Depending on your family situation, the application process will take anywhere between four to six months. During this process, you will begin to comprehend how fostering works and how being a foster carer will affect your life and your family.
The fostering agency will collect all your data, conduct background checks and contact your references. They will require a medical check exam from your GP as well as a standard check for your home. Be sure that you give open and honest reports and if any questions arise, do ask. You need to understand that the agency wants to approve you as they need foster families but they need to ensure that the needs of the children in care are well met.
Throughout the assessment process, a social worker will be visiting you on several occasions. IT will be a requirement that you attend a training session after which the assessment result is passed to the fostering panel who decide whether or not you are eligible to be a foster carer. You will be involved in the whole decision-making process, and you can attend the panel meeting.
Foster Care Review
After your approval, you are given ongoing support by the supervising social worker. They will support you in your fostering, and will conduct yearly review. In the review, you gather together with your family including other foster children, discuss your experiences with foster care, and share what you have been able to achieve and what you feel you need in regards to additional training and support.