Most people spend a good few months or even years considering whether fostering a child is right for them. It is not something you should try to rush or take lightly as you can make an enormous impact on a foster child’s life. Here are four of the things you should consider before you start the application process.
Do You Meet the Criteria?
The criteria are quite broad for fostering but there is no point in starting the process if you are likely to get turned down. The most important criterion is that you are over the age of 21 and you have a spare room to offer your foster child.
You do not have to own your own home, be in a heterosexual relationship or have a partner. Previous criminal convictions are looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature and severity of the crime and whether you can prove that you are a reformed character.
Are You Comfortable with the Process?
Becoming a foster carer can be a long and emotional journey. It is wise to research the process by visiting websites such as thefca.co.uk and learning as much as you can about the process before you embark on it. As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork to complete, meetings to attend, and background checks to undergo before you can foster a child. However, if you know what to expect it can make the journey less overwhelming.
How Will It Affect Your Life?
Fostering is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You have the chance to shape the life of the child in your care and offer them a supportive home when they need one. This is certainly a calling and one that will give you a lot of satisfaction. However, fostering can affect your life in other ways too. For example, you will need to be around for the foster child, take them to and from school, hobbies, meetings with families and social workers, and offer them support and guidance.
This can have a great impact on your life if you are not used to doing them and these things can be very time-consuming. Foster agencies prefer that at least one parent can carry out these responsibilities so this may have an impact on your working life. You may be able to work part-time or when you do not have a foster child living with you but if you are a career-minded person, fostering a child will be a huge lifestyle change.
Do You Have Enough Love to Give?
Some people worry that they do not have enough love to give a foster child, especially if they have a family of their own. However, the fact that you are even considering this journey indicates that you have enough love to give.
There are many things to consider before becoming a foster carer, but these are arguably the most important. Make sure you have thought things through beforehand and only apply when you are sure you want to go ahead.