Stages To Becoming A Foster Carer

If you are considering fostering as an option, there are a number of things you need to be aware of. You cannot simply contact an agency to allow a child to you, there is a strenuous procedure which you need to go through before you become a foster carer. The essential steps are discussed below.

If you are considering fostering as an option, there are a number of things you need to be aware of. You cannot simply contact an agency to allow a child to you, there is a strenuous procedure which you need to go through before you become a foster carer. The essential steps are discussed below.

Contact the social worker: This is the first stage of fostering. You need to contact a social worker and have a chat with them. It can start with a phone call and you are free to ask as many questions as you want to. You will get all the information before you take the next step. The social worker will also ask you a number of questions and you need to answer the same. You need not have a qualification or an experience in fostering to become a foster carer.

Rather, you only need to be in good health and have a spare bedroom. You also must not have been declared bankrupt in the past and should not have any serious criminal convictions. If you meet this criteria, you need to arrange with a socialworker for a meeting and have an in depth chat.

Skill Training: The next step is to go through the skills to foster training as a carer. You will be given a training where you discuss your role as a foster carer and the different ways in which you can help children with love and support. You will learn about teamwork and how you can work with the child to promote their wellbeing. This training will take place over a period of three days and it will help you integrate the child in your family with ease. It will be focused around group discussions and will allow you to speak to an experienced foster carer so you can learn more about the same.

Information gathering: There will be a number of checks before you are allotted a child for fostering. Everyone living in your house aged over 16 will need to get an Enhanced Disclosure. You will have to make an appointment with the medical professional to certify your good health. The social workers will speak to the references who can be your colleagues, friends or even family.

Chats with the social worker: There will be a supervising social worker assigned to you and he will be your main point of contact. Whenever you have questions, you just need to give him a call. The social worker will visit you many times so as to have a chat and to understand your approach. This is a two way process and you just need to be honest and ask as many questions as possible. This chat is basically an opportunity to learn more about fostering. By the end of this step, the social worker will put together a report based on the discussion.

Panel review: The social worker will submit a report to an independent panel who will review the evidence and recommend whether you are approved as a foster carer or not. You need to remember that everyone wants you to achieve the best and the social worker will be on your side supporting you with the same. This is one of the most rewarding jobs you will be doing and when you are invited to meet the panel, you will have an opportunity to talk about yourself. This panel will consist of five people and they are friendly and welcoming. They will guide you and will help you ensure that you are prepared for the big role you will be playing in the life of the child.

Final step: At the final stage, the agency will have to approve you as a foster carer. The social worker will then start the process of matching and you can start the most amazing and rewarding job of your life.

The entire process takes anywhere between four to six months to complete and it also depends on when each stage is complete. There could be one stage which takes longer than the other and you might have to wait for longer. You need to remember that you will get complete support and training when you start.

Once you are approved, you will receive comprehensive support from the social workers. They will regularly visit you, train you and will always be there to hear from you. They will also give you an opportunity to be friends with other foster carers.

About Author

Jamie Sorenson

Jamie Sorenson is a freelance writer with a Masters in Communications from Quinnipiac. An aspiring screenplay writer, Jamie freelances for many media outlets.

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