New to Foster Care?
If you are new to foster care, you may have many questions. Understanding how it works begins with understanding that foster carers assume the parental role after the local authority removes the child from the family home. To get an idea of how urgent this need is, currently, there are about 70,000 children in the UK in care.
Local authorities provide foster carers and have done so historically. In recent years, independent fostering agencies such as Excel Fostering have emerged. Almost 50% of new placements are being made with private agencies, which are becoming more attractive to new carers than the local authorities. This is due to the support and training independent agencies provide. Unlike local authorities, independent agencies are focused on the sole task of providing foster homes. Local authorities have other duties and responsibilities as well as the need to provide caring for children.
Regardless of whether you are a carer with an authority or an agency, there is no way to predict the type of placements you will be offered. Some situations begin as a temporary arrangement, with the idea that the child or young person will return to their parents. In other cases, children and young people are not able to return home. This can result in long term care or the young person being adopted.
On average, a placement is about 18 months long. There are specialised types of fostering such as parent and child. In this situation, a parent and his or her baby or toddler are taken into your home for 12 weeks, on average. Your task is to assist the young man or woman to learn parenting skills while assessing their ability to carry on in the larger community implementing these skills on their own. You also safeguard the little one as the parent develops and encourage the parent and child to develop a strong bond.
Another specialised placement type is the siblings group when brothers and sisters are taken into care together. It is a requirement that a carer has a spare bedroom available for each child. Therefore, people who have extra bedrooms are eagerly sought.
Speaking of requirements, Excel does not have an upper age limit on anyone who wishes to become a carer. We need you to be in good health, but your age is not a factor. Looking after children calls for energy and the ability to be available to meet their daily needs. It is not important that you be married or part of a couple. While it is a benefit if you are experienced in working with children, if you are not, during the assessment period, we provide training and support that can help with the education you need.
Excel’s recruitment process is ongoing. We are looking for a variety of different families because we live in a diverse society with diverse needs. The most important thing is that we are able to give youngsters the safe and caring homes that are needed.
If you are thinking of fostering and ready to make a difference, contact us for more information on how the fostering assessment process is carried out.