Deciding to become a foster carer is the first step in a rewarding journey that involves providing a loving home for children in need. Naturally, you will have tons of questions swimming around your head. Throughout this article, we answer five common questions asked by prospective foster carers.
Do I Need Qualifications to Become a Foster Carer?
You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a foster parent. During your preparation, you will receive full training geared towards learning the necessary skills needed to become a foster carer. After you’ve passed the welcome course and been accepted as a foster carer, you will be expected to continue with your professional development, which will include attending further courses.
How Long Does Registration Take?
This question is tricky because it will change on a case-to-case basis. However, as a rough guide, you should expect it to take up to six months. This may feel like a long time, but it’s essential that your home is fully vetted and you’re completely trained to welcome a foster child into your home. To keep you updated throughout the entire process, your agency will be in touch every step of the way.
Will a Criminal Record Affect My Approval Chances?
This depends on the circumstances. According to UK law, the only criminal convictions that would prevent someone from becoming a foster carer are offenses against children or any sexual offices. Minor criminal convictions should not act against you during the application process. However, you will have to disclose your criminal convictions when you’re first asked during the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
What Support Is Available?
Once you’ve successfully passed the registration process, you’ll have access to countless resources designed to help you out. The most crucial part of your support network will be your case worker, who will be a local professional assigned to support you.
You will also receive financial allowances to cover the cost of providing for a foster child. The amount you receive will depend on your current circumstances, but it typically comes in at over £400 weekly for every foster child in your care.
Can I Work for Financial Support?
Given the cost-of-living crisis sweeping the UK, you’ll likely be asking can you work and be a foster parent?
When you become a foster carer, your commitment is to provide a loving and caring environment for foster children. Therefore, you need to be 100% present in your foster child’s life – you are receiving an allowance to make this feasible. If you require additional financial support, you’re best off communicating with your agency instead of taking on any work.
The answers above only represent a small sample of the questions that foster parents may have. However, you should feel more at ease knowing more about the registration process, what support will be provided, and whether you can continue or take on any other work. The only thing left to do is get the application process started.