Fostering a child is a wonderful thing to do, and it can be easier than you think. The process can take a little time, but once completed, you can house a foster child almost immediately. Here are the four basic steps toward becoming a foster parent so you can provide a stable home to a child in need.
Contacting a Fostering Agency
Most fostering in the UK is done through fostering agencies. These agencies help children in need of a foster family find places to live. They should be your first port of call and will help assist you through the entire fostering process, and during your fostering. Check out this agency if you are looking for fostering in Greater Manchester and they will help you begin the process. They will assess you, your family, and your home to help identify a child that will thrive in the environment.
Social Worker Assessment
You will need to submit an application to foster, and if accepted you will begin your fostering assessment. During your assessment, a social worker will visit you and your home to ensure that fostering children with your family is appropriate. This will include background checks on you and your spouse, and they will also look at your work history and assess your capacity to become a foster carer. This is for the safety of the foster child and to ensure that you and your family are prepared to take on the responsibility of fostering. They may also check with local authorities such as the schools any existing children in your home attend.
Training to Be a Foster Carer
Before becoming a foster carer, you will also have to undergo some training. This will give you a better understanding of the fostering process, your responsibilities as a foster carer, and how to welcome a foster child into your home and your family. This training benefits you, your foster child, and the social workers you will work with. Most courses take around two or three days, and some can be completed virtually so that you do not have to leave your home or other children to complete them.
Meeting a Fostering Panel
One of the final steps on the road to becoming a foster carer is meeting with a fostering panel. The social worker that visited your home will accompany you to this meeting. The panel is comprised of social workers and other care professionals, as well as members of your local community who have experience in fostering and adoption. They will discuss fostering with you and assess your suitability as a foster parent. They will make their decision on the day of the meeting and will advise the agency decision maker at the fostering agency you have applied to. The agency decision-maker will then let you know if you have been a successful applicant for fostering.
With these steps completed, you will be accepted as a foster parent. You may be assigned a foster child in a short amount of time, so be ready. Fostering is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Providing a stable home and family life for a child is not just beneficial to them, but to you and your family too.