How to know if you’re the right fit for fostering
If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, the first thing you need to establish is whether you’re a good fit. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what it takes to become a foster parent these days. For example, many people believe they need to be married, own their own home and have a lot of money in the bank if they want to be accepted. However, this really isn’t the case.
Just like there is a huge diversity between foster children, we’re looking for a diverse range of carers too. However, there are some universal skills and requirements that will determine if you’re a good fit for fostering.
There are a few important requirements you will need to meet in order to become a foster carer. These include:
- Have a large spare bedroom for a child to comfortably live in
- Be a full-time UK resident
- Have enough time to dedicate to a young person
So while you don’t need to live in a mansion to be able to foster, you will need one spare room big enough for the child to live in. This is because the child needs their own space where they can feel safe. Sharing with another child may sound like a good idea, but in reality foster children need space and time to get used to their new surroundings.
It’s also idea if you can dedicate all of your time to the foster children in your care. However, we do consider applications from those in part time and full time work. It just may affect the age of the children you’re able to take on.
Other factors to consider
Other things that you should consider before you apply to foster include:
- Are you fit and healthy?
- Is your home environment loving and stable?
- What is your experience level with children?
- How does your family feel about the decision?
While we do consider applications from people with health problems, it will depend entirely upon the condition and whether it will affect the care you can provide. You’ll also need to be honest about whether you can offer a child a stable, loving home. Is your home life currently a happy one? Many people mistakenly believe adding a child into an unhappy situation will help to make them happier. This isn’t the case and it wouldn’t be fair to bring a vulnerable child into an unstable environment.
It’s also ideal if you have some existing experience with children. This could be through having your own children, or if you work/have worked with children. We do provide full training, but it is useful to have some experience.
Finally do you have the support of everyone in the household? As a Fostering Solutions foster carer you will have access to a carer buddy to help you settle into the role, along with 24/7 support. However, it’s important that everyone in the household is on board with the decision to foster. If not, it could cause problems along the way.