The fostering network in the UK is continuously looking for people to get involved. There are many reasons why children need to be taken from their birth environment to get a fair chance at a good upbringing. Foster carers, along with social workers play an important role.
How does one go about becoming a foster carer? It starts with empathy and enthusiasm. The positive impact you can have on someone’s life is a good incentive enough and the fostering system has also put in place a framework that will help you gain other benefits too.
Tahir Khan from Perpetual Fostering (https://perpetualfostering.co.uk/) says that the social worker is your go-to for questions about fostering. As your point of contact, social workers have the necessary resources to handle any questions you may have regarding fostering.
Thank you, foster parents, for taking on the painful goodbyes so that kiddos in #fostercare have the love and safety they deserve! Take a few minutes to read this beautiful, real story about what it can be like to say goodbye as a foster parent: https://t.co/s0NuZH1UHW pic.twitter.com/MHPZzIc5lu
— Blythe Hinderliter (@BlytheHinderLIT) January 24, 2019
The Requirements To Become A Foster Carer
The prerequisites to give foster care are not very stringent. You need to be an adult (above 21 years of age), have a spare room in your home and have enough time in your daily routine to be able to attend to your fostering responsibilities. These flexible parameters have been created to include more potential foster carers into the network.
It is recommended that you use a fostering agency to go about the processes involved. There will be many tests and interviews and basic things like income and home environment need to be determined by the agency/local authority. You also need to be healthy enough to take up this responsibility so an NHS check-up is part of the application procedure. You will also be part of several training workshops as there are certain skills and communication techniques that need to be acquired. References may be needed too.
You are not alone once the foster period starts. There will be experts and social workers who will be on call when you need to reach out for some help. You will also receive your fair compensation for your role based on the specific case. Fostering agencies are known to offer higher compensation than their government counterparts.
The Difference You Can Make
For those who are still considering becoming foster caregivers, there are many wonderful reasons why you should do it. So what is the difference you can make to someone’s life by being a foster caregiver?
Thousands of children are in foster care each year in the UK. Without your protection, these young individuals will probably end up in a children’s home, exposed to more vulnerabilities that may add to their trauma. By providing a safe refuge to them, you give them a place which will help them shed their inhibitions and develop as a child should. This results in relationships that last a lifetime and the satisfaction of being someone’s beacon in the darkest of times is something that you will relish.
By age 24 less than half of youth who age out of foster care will be employed. Youth in #fostercare battle trauma, housing instability, unmet educational needs, lack of job skill training, which contribute to their difficulty in finding, and maintaining employment. #MeetMeHalfway pic.twitter.com/VQqAITRPrK
— ProjectMeetMeHalfway (@ProjectMMH) January 23, 2019
This article highlights some of the triumphs foster kids in California have made thanks to legislation and education. It’s a part of a yearlong series on higher education for youth in #fostercare made in collab between @YouthToday and @TheNYFoundling https://t.co/taQvtGNK0g pic.twitter.com/nakvTSue7m
— TheNewYorkFoundling (@TheNYFoundling) January 23, 2019
We are all stakeholders in the community and it is in our hands how we shape the future generations. Education, health, and security are the rights of every child and as a foster carer, you can make this happen. Be the family they need.
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