How To Foster a Child
Many people are interested in becoming foster parents but aren’t sure what the process entails, or what the foster care requirements are to become a carer. Find out everything you need to know about how to foster from this helpful guide.
Foster care requirements
Firstly, you may be asking yourself “can I foster?”. If you’re reading this, you probably already have some of the core traits of someone who can foster; such as being caring and having a desire to help make a difference in the lives of children and young people in need. Though there is a little more to it than that.
The basic fostering requirements for becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering are the following:
- That you’re over the age of 21
- You are in good health
- You are a full-time resident in the UK (or have leave to remain)
- Have a spare bedroom in your home
This latter point is incredibly important as, by law, all children and young people in foster care require their own private and secure environment. Learn more about fostering requirements from our guide.
So, who can foster?
Your gender, race, religion, relationship status or whether you identify as LGBTQ+ has no impact on your ability to provide top quality care to a child or young person – and so none of the above impacts your ability to become a foster carer.
How to foster – the process
If you meet these foster care requirements and are considering becoming a foster carer, then get in contact with Excel Fostering today!
This process will start with a supervising social worker visiting you, and your family if applicable, in your home. This will be a relatively informal meeting where we will discuss the assessment process with you as well as go through the details of personal circumstances and talk a little bit about your background and experience. This will help us start to complete your Form F Assessment – this is the form that will be presented to the fostering panel at the end of the process.
Generally, the assessment period lasts four to five months. During that time period, you’ll be invited to attend foster care skills training. This is a service we offer to all potential carers as part of our training and support package. This training course will ensure that you have all the care and parenting skills you need to offer a top classing fostering service and are able to perform all the duties required of you as a foster parent.
The final stage before you officially become a foster parent is the foster panel meeting. This panel will be made up of members assigned by both Excel Fostering, as the fostering agency you are applying with, as well as third-party members with fostering experience. The goal of the panel is to make the final assessment as to your suitability as a foster carer. After the meeting, the panel will then make a recommendation to us as to whether they feel you are suitable for the role which will help us make a final decision.
Once you’ve been approved and joined the Excel Fostering team, it’s important to know that you may not receive a placement for a foster child straight away. With foster care, great consideration is taken to match a child or young person with the right carer who can best meet their needs and offer the types of fostering services that will help them grow and develop.
Find out more about the fostering process today from our helpful guide.
So that’s our quick “How to Foster” guide. If you have any further questions on how to foster, want more information on the foster care approval process or want to apply, please don’t hesitate to contact us!