Think fostering is a difficult process or one that is closed to you? Think again!
Foster carers of all ages, ethnicities and gender are needed to care for children who cannot live with their own families. Applications are welcomed from families, married or cohabiting couples, single people and from the LGBT community too.
The steps to fostering
The first step is to find out more and to get a flavour of what fostering is all about. It may look rewarding – and it is! – but it is hard work. You need to be sure that you have all the information to determine if you have what it takes to care for a child.
The second step once you have registered your interest is to get the full picture. You can do this by talking in depth with a fostering agency or by attending one of the many information events they hold. As well as more information on the whole process, you can talk to people who currently foster too.
The third step, if you decide to continue, is the start of home visit from a social worker. They will bring application forms with them and start the process of filling them in. You will have a few home visits, but this is nothing to be wary of – it is all part of making sure that every fostered child gets the very best.
The fourth step is an important one. It is one where you attend a training course that looks at what foster care is and what being a foster carer involves. You will also meet other people training to be foster carers, as well as social workers and current foster parents. You will examine and discuss issues that arise in foster care, as well as support and allowances for foster carers.
The fifth and final step will see you open the door to one of the most rewarding things you can do: foster a child or a group of siblings. Once your application is complete, and you have attended the training course, your application goes to the review panel. This group of people will check everything is in order and review your application. They may want to meet you or ask some more questions. When they give their approval, you will be ready to give a home to your first foster child!