How To Be A Foster Care Parent

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Becoming a foster parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It’s an opportunity to support individual children, providing a vital service to the community. 

This post describes who can foster (eligibility criteria), whether it’s right for you, and how to apply. 

Foster Care Requirements

The government sets out eligibility criteria regarding who can become a foster parent. Strict rules operate to protect children. To apply, you must: 

  • Be over the age of 21
  • Be in good health
  • Have enough time to provide support to your child or young person
  • Have a spare bedroom in your home
  • Be a full-time resident of the UK or a British citizen

The government encourages a diversity of foster parents, meaning your gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religion should not impact your application. Personal identity and characteristics do not affect your right to apply. 

Is Fostering Right For You?

While you might meet the government’s minimum requirements, you still need to consider whether foster care is right for you in the context of your life. For instance, you should consider whether you have sufficient financial security to take care of a child. You should also ask if you have enough experience with young people to understand their physical, emotional, medical and psychological needs.

If your home life is hectic or chaotic, adding another child to the mix might not be the best idea – at least not now. Furthermore, you may find it hard to become an approved foster parent if you have previous criminal convictions. 

How To Apply To Becoming A Foster Parent

If you believe foster care is the right path for you, you can go ahead and apply. To do so, you’ll need to go through the following steps: 

  1. Get the process started. You can get started by going to a foster care agency and filling out their application form or getting them to call you back. For example, we will take down your details and provide an initial screening, letting you know if you are eligible to become a foster parent. 
  2. Arrange a home visit. The next step involves inviting an agency representative to your home to get to know you better and see where any new child will stay. 
  3. Apply to become a foster carer. After that, you’ll need to complete an official application form to become a foster carer. We can provide help with this part. 
  4. Learn fostering skills. Getting foster care training and support from professionals is essential. It makes it easier to care for children and young adults with disadvantaged backgrounds. 
  5. Final checks. Panels of specialists then carry out final checks before recommending you to become a foster carer. 
  6. Placement. Lastly, you will start your first placement if your application is successful. 

Becoming a foster parent can be a long process. However, it is significantly easier when you have the right team on your side. If you need help, get in touch with Match Foster Care team.

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Simon Costanza
Features Editor


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