Many people worry that they will not be considered, or that their lifestyles are not suitable, but actually, this may not be the case. In fact, most people can apply and are eligible to become foster parents – regardless of their background or lifestyle.
Who Can Foster?
Fostered children come from a variety of backgrounds and therefore it is expected that foster parents do too. Whatever your race, marital status, sexuality, or employment status, you could well be the perfect person to provide a loving home to a vulnerable child. So, with this in mind, what type of people become foster parents?
1. Team Players
When you open up your home to a fostered child you will be expected to work in partnership with the agency. You will need to show you can listen to the agency and the child, as well as provide your own views and the views of your existing family.
2. Experienced Parents
Although it is not a necessity, it can be viewed as an advantage if you have previous experience of caring for or working with children. This will put you in good stead for tackling any issues that may arise with the child placed in your care.
As expected, potential foster carers undergo rigorous assessment, but do not let this put you off, the agency just wants to make sure that you can offer a child a nurturing environment in a loving home. It takes all sorts of personalities to make the ideal foster parent, so just be yourself!
Children are placed in short and long-term foster care for a variety of reasons and come from a range of backgrounds. Our society boasts an assortment of cultures, and agencies positively encourage diversity when accepting applications from those wishing to become foster parents.
It may be surprising to learn that even senior citizens can be successful foster carers. Agencies recognise the importance of experience, and sometimes a child will benefit from the care of an older person. As long as you are healthy and can meet the needs of the child, you can apply to be a foster carer.
6. Can Unemployed People Apply?
Most fostering agencies offer an allowance to ensure both the fostered child and foster family can live comfortably. However, fostering should not be seen as a chance to earn money, but as the opportunity to give a caring home to a child that needs it.
7. I have a Criminal Record, can I become a Foster Carer?
The safety of the child is paramount and all applicants will experience background checks. However, just because you have a criminal record, this does not mean your application will be automatically rejected. It all depends on the nature of the crime and a number of other factors. Discuss any concerns with the agency or a social worker before you apply.
Thinking Of Becoming A Foster Parent?
Children all over the UK need somewhere to call home, be it for a short time or longer periods. If you think you could provide the perfect place for a child to thrive, why not contact the NFA for more information?
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent but have further questions which you would like answered, please contact the NFA by calling 0845 200 4040 or email us at [email protected]