Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can go through. You get the chance to raise a child who is underprivileged so that they get the best possible upbringing in your care before they can get a permanent residence.
This is a big decision to make as you will be responsible for the well-being of a young kid and it can be quite challenging if you haven’t had children of your own. If you are truly interested in becoming a foster carer, then there are some steps that you must follow.
The the first step that you need to take is contacting your local care agency and ask them for details on how to become a foster carer. They will get you information as well as answer any queries that you might have. They will typically visit you at your home to discuss fostering with you in-depth. If you decide that you want to carry on, then the next step will be requestioned for an application. The advisor who visited you will determine whether or not you qualify to apply.
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 agency collects all your details, perform background checks and contact references. They will further request for a medical exam from your GP and a standard safety check of your home. It is important to ensure that this is open and honest as possible and ask any questions that may arise. 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.
A social worker visits your home several times to interview you throughout the assessment process. You will also be required to attend a training course as well, and once the assessment is complete, it goes to the Fostering Pane who decide whether or not you are approved to be a foster carer. You will get involved in the entire decision-making process and can attend the panel meeting.
Foster Care Review
Once approved, you will be given ongoing support by the Supervising Social Worker. They will support you in your fostering, and will conduct yearly review. During the review, you and your family, including any foster children, share your experiences with foster care and what you have achieved so far, and what you feel you need in regards to additional training and support.