Becoming a foster carer is regarded to be the most rewarding experience 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.
Foster caring is a huge decision to make as you will be taking care of a young child’s wellbeing which can be tricky if you haven’t had children of your own. In this case, therefore, if you are interested in becoming a foster caregiver, you need to follow some steps.
First, you will need to contact your local acre agency and ask for details about qualifying to be 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 feel that you want to proceed, the next step is seeking an application. The advisor who came to see you will then assess your eligibility.
Fostering Application Process
Depending on your family situation, the application process will take anywhere between four to six months. It is during this process that you get to understand clearly how the process of fostering works and how being a foster caregiver affects your life and your family.
The agency collects all your details, perform background checks and contact references. They will also require a medical exam from your GP and the 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 must know that the agency is after approving you as they need foster families but their core business here is to ensure that the needs of the children in care are met first and foremost.
The Assessment Process
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 be involved in the entire decision-making and can attend the panel meeting.
The 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. 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.