Just as there is diversity in fostered children, foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences, skills and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. There are, however, some common criteria that most fostering services need from you:
becoming a foster carer
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Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family in the UK.
The reasons children come into care varies widely, including a parent’s short-term illness or another temporary problem within the family. Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or a parent’s depression or drug or alcohol abuse. Others may have been abused or neglected. Each child’s circumstances and needs are unique.
Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can’t live with their own families.
Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is very rewarding and makes a huge difference to children’s lives.
The theme of this year's Foster Care Fortnight was how foster care changes futures - the futures of fostered children and young people and the lives of the foster families who care for them.
So, you’ve made the decision that you’d like to become a foster carer. You think you have the right skills and experience, you have the desire to offer a safe and caring home to a child or young person…and, of course, you have a spare room. Now what happens?
The local authority will be required to evidence that each staying put arrangement meets ‘basic standards’. It is the local authority’s responsibility to provide (whether directly or through commissioned services) support to both the young person and to the former foster carers. This includes foster carers approved and supported by independent fostering providers. The levels of support to be provided should take account of the individual circumstances and needs.
Debbie Douglas is a foster carer and the Westminster Government's fostering ambassador. Here she talks about the multiple roles a foster carer takes on - and how proud she is to say that she is a foster carer.
I’m misleading you a little this week because I’m not going to be blogging about the cinema. Though what I’m attempting to describe was at times as surreal to me as something you might glimpse on the big screen.
It’s a beautiful, sunny Wednesday morning. We’re suited and booted and on our way to panel to be approved as foster carers. We’re meeting Stef (our Form F assessor) at a café near to where the panel is taking place, to have a little run through the potential questions we can expect.