If you have reached the point where you know you would like to foster a child, but are not sure what to do about it, then this informative guide will help you get started on your fostering journey.
Taking the step to become a foster parent is a major commitment that needs to be handled properly. You may have all the information required to make an informed decision, but what next?
- The first step would be to talk through all the types of fostering options that are available to you. This will make sure that you are comfortable with the duty of care that you will be obligated to provide. There are short and long term placements, and short breaks. You may find you are able to care for children with complex needs or who have come from another country. By talking through the different scenarios, you will make the choice most suited to your situation, and therefore be able to provide the best care possible.
- After an initial decision, a more detailed talk takes place during a home visit. This will give the fostering agency a chance to get to know you, while answering any further questions you may have about becoming a foster parent.
- An application and assessment process then takes place whereby upon completion of the application documents, a social worker will carry out an in-depth analysis of your suitability to become a foster parent. The assessment will incorporate regular visits to your home to build a full picture of the environment. This will take approximately 4-5 months to complete.
- Once your assessment is completed, a panel made up of people with a range of skills, knowledge and experience in the world of fostering help make a decision in respect of your suitability to become a foster parent. During this time you will have a support worker with you to answer any questions you might have.
Once all of these stages have been passed you will then be able to prepare for your first arrival. This could happen days or months after completion, depending when the fostering agency has a suitable child for you.
Here at Fostering to Inspire our dedicated team would support you throughout all of the steps outlined and continue to offer help and guidance during your time of fostering with us. If you have any questions about how to become a foster parent, then please get in touch.
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