People are aware of the difference fostering can make to a child’s life, but many don’t understand exactly what a foster carer does or what qualities are needed to welcome a foster child into your home. Here are five of the most asked questions about fostering – and the answers you are looking for.
Can People of All Ages Become Foster Carers?
If you are 21 or older, you can apply to become a foster carer. There is no upper age limit – each prospective foster carer is assessed to ensure they can offer a child what they need to thrive. At the beginning of the assessment process, all foster parents have a medical check which covers You will be required to have a spare room that can be your foster child’s bedroom and have the physical and mental capabilities to support a foster child.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Foster Carer?
If you are considering applying to become a foster carer, you will be pleased to know there are no specific qualifications you need. There are training courses specifically tailored for foster carers that are part of the fostering process which, and they everything you need to know about fostering and how to give a child a safe and secure home. Support is also available from the agency or council you are fostering through, and many areas also have groups where foster families can come together to share experiences and tips.
Can You Adopt a Foster Child?
This depends on several factors – for some children, fostering is a short-term intervention. Other children may need a long-term or permanent foster family but are not able to be adopted due to their family circumstances. However, some fosterers do adopt children that they have fostered. If you know that you want to extend your family permanently, you may be better suited to adoption rather than fostering.
Do You Get Paid for Fostering a Child?
We know that the main motivation for foster parents is to help children thrive Foster carers want to provide a better life for children, giving them confidence, reassurance, love, and stability. There are, of course, material things that every child needs, such as clothes and food, toys and books. That’s where the fostering allowance comes in. Foster carers are paid an allowance to cover these expenses and others such as childcare costs, school trips and more – making sure that they are compensated
Can You Foster if You Have Children at Home Already?
Yes! Having children of your own does not mean you are unable to foster. Throughout the application process you will be asked about the children who are already in your home. These questions may be around how your child adapts to change, any specific needs your child has and what their thoughts about welcoming another child into their home are. Everyone in the home needs to be fully on board if the fostering process is to be successful.
If you are considering starting your fostering journey, know that you will be supported throughout. Everyone wants you to succeed! Information events are excellent for speaking to professionals, asking any questions you may have and taking the first steps to becoming a foster carer.
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