Starting your foster care application is an exciting time. It is the first step to becoming a positive force for change in the lives of young people. It’s the beginning of the journey to great rewards. However, do you know the steps you need to take to become a foster carer?
Understand the role
Before beginning a foster care application, it is crucial to fully understand the role of a foster carer. This is made difficult because the media doesn’t always present a realistic image.
A foster carer is a highly distinct role. You will be providing the care and nurturance a young person needs. This may be for a baby, a teen, or any age in between. You may even choose to become a specialist type of foster carer who cares for mums and babies together.
This care is offered within a ‘family’ environment. However, whilst families vary enormously is terms of set-up and members, so do foster families. You can be a family if you are single without children just as much as you can in a 2.4 children traditional set-up.
It may be a short-term placement from just a few days, or long-term placement which lasts for years.
The commonality is that you provide individualised care on a 24/7 basis to the child in your care.
It’s also important to understand that foster caring is a distinctive role because predominantly the children in your care will come from troubled backgrounds. They may have experienced abuse and/or neglect. They may have experienced loss. They may have complex behavioural or health needs.
Therefore, these children need more. They need more care, more nurturing, more security and more support. A foster carer is the main supplier of the support they need, or as the conduit for gaining access to other professional services.
Understanding the unique nature of foster care puts you in a realistic position to start.
How to start your foster care application
Before any form filling or any assessments, you need to feel absolutely certain that you have the willingness to meet the needs of a child in need. Skills such as patience and empathy will stand you in good stead.
You’ll also need to be sure you meet the criteria. You need to be over 21 (with no upper age) and in good health. You’ll need to have a spare room that can become the child’s. You need to be a British citizen or have leave to remain in the UK.
You don’t need to worry about your relationship status, sexuality, race or gender. We welcome foster care applications from a fully diverse range of backgrounds.
Begin the steps to fostering
Your first port of call is to now make an enquiry. It really is that simple. Simply get in touch and let us know that you would like to make a foster care application.
The agency you choose, such as FCA Scotland, will then be your centralised port of call as you go through the application process.
From your initial enquiry, you will likely be invited to attend a local information giving event. This is an opportunity to find out more, and also meet others who are applying to become foster carers too.
Following this stage, if you are definitely interested, you will have a home visit where you’ll be given the application form to complete. From here, you’ll have more discussions and home visits, as well as training, before your application goes to panel to make a final decision.
All the way through the foster care application, you will be supported by a nominated social worker and by FCA Scotland.
We look forward to welcoming you to our family. Find out more today.