Foster families are sorely needed in the UK with thousands of children in need of loving homes. Many people, however, are still unsure as to whether they can be foster carers. Take a look at what an ‘eligible’ foster carer looks like.
To foster, you can be;
- A member of the LGBT communities
Foster carers are needed from all walks of life with a range of life experiences and skills. Since 2002, the last real barrier to people becoming foster carers was removed with the Children’s Adoption Act.
This change in the law meant that LGBT people could foster and adopt. Since then, the number of LGBT foster carers has been increasing and what we are learning is what everyone suspected: children fostered by LGBT foster carers are thriving.
To Foster, You Can Own Your Home Or Live In Rented Accommodation
A child in need of foster care needs someone who can offer then love and nurturing. A foster child also needs a bedroom of their own, with their own private space in a home that is safe.
It can be your own home or one that you rent, from either a private landlord or a social housing provider.
To Foster, You Need To Be Over The Age Of 21
Most fostering agencies set their minimum age requirement as 21 years of age, believing that by this time, young people with an interest in being a foster carer will be settled, with some life experiences under their belt.
There is no upper age limit because every child is unique thus, they may respond better to a foster carer who is older and more mature.
To Foster, You Need To Be In Good Health
As part of the application process, you will undergo a medical assessment in which your GP will be asked to give an appraisal of your health.
What this doesn’t mean is that you will be automatically excluded because you have a health condition or are disabled. It is more the process of ensuring that you are not putting your own health at risk by fostering children and all the stresses that can involve.
To Foster, You Will Need Some Training
Although you may be a successful parent or have worked with children and young people, fostering children into your family, home and life is quite different.
Just as there are plenty of rewards, there will be challenges. From child protection issues to managing challenging behavior, the fostering agency you choose to work with will offer initial foster training, as well as ongoing training in specialist areas.
To Foster, You Will Need To Be Supported
A successful foster placement hinges on many factors, support for you and your family being one of them.
You will be assigned a social worker by the placing agency who will work directly with you and your family.
But there are other support mechanisms too. As well as support groups within the fostering agency, you can seek impartial advice and support from fostering charities and helplines.
To Foster, You’ll Need Financial Help Too
Support comes in many shapes and sizes, and the fostering allowance you will receive is part of the overall support package.
This allowance covers the cost of bringing up a foster child, with some agencies offering extra payments around the time of your foster child’s birthday and other significant events, such as Christmas.
Paid holidays are also included, as well as generous tax relief. You may also find that if you receive some benefits, the fostering allowance doesn’t affect how much receive. Is fostering something you could do?
Active Care Solutions have been making a difference in the lives of foster children for many years. They are currently recruiting – why not find out more?
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