Home » You Want to Be a Foster Carer? Here’s How toGet Started

You Want to Be a Foster Carer? Here’s How toGet Started

There are many distinct reasons why people are interested in finding out how to become a foster carer. For some, children leaving home and freeing up a spare bedroom prompts the idea. For others, they want to support young people who’ve had a difficult life. Others are curious about exactly what foster care involves. Foster carers change lives and make a real difference to many children – over 63,000 children are currently living in foster homes in the UK. If this is something you are considering, here are the answers to some of the questions you may have and a guide on how you can take the first steps to becoming a foster carer.

I’m Interested in Fostering, But I’m Not Quite Sure What a Foster Carer Does?

A foster parent supports a child or group of children when their legal parents are unable to do so. The children who are placed in foster families may have experienced neglect or abuse or could need a foster home because of family illness, separation, or problems at home. There are several types of foster caring including short-term, long-term, emergency and respite but all have one thing in common – foster carers welcome the child (or children) in need into their home to provide a safe, stable environment that changes lives.

Can Anyone Be a Foster Carer?

There are, understandably, regulations about who can apply to be a foster carer. Information on the Foster Care Associateswebsite, thefca.co.uk, states they would love to hear from anyone 21 or over who has a spare room and is willing to open their heart and home to a foster child. The process initially involves a telephone conversation to decide if the time is right for you to start your fostering journey and, if so, the application process can officially begin.

Do Foster Carers Get Paid?

Fostering is viewed as a career and is a commitment. As such, there are payments and allowances to support foster carers. This varies depending on factors such as location, the number of children fostered, and experience, but there are calculators online to help you find out how much financial support you could get as a foster carer. Remember to consider that, depending on your circumstances, your current income may be affected, for example, if you need to reduce your working hours to collect your foster child from school.

Who Do I Need to Contact for More Information?

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer, the Foster Care Associates website is a wonderful resource. Not only does it give information about financial support and what to expect when you apply to become a foster parent, but there is also a helpful blog that covers many aspects of fostering and contact details so you can ask any questions you have.

Foster caring is a rewarding career. If you have been inspired to take the next step on your parenting journey, congratulations, and good luck!