Foster carers take on many different roles. They are fundamentally driven by caregiving responsibilities while encompassing so many nuances into the mix. There is a lot to learn, and brilliant fun to be had, but before you begin down the road of becoming a foster carer, you must ask, is fostering right for you? This is not something that should ever be entered lightly, and it is vital to understand everything that the role entails in order to make an informed decision.
What You Need to Become a Foster Carer
There are certain criteria you must meet in order to become a foster carer. Each area and agency in the UK will have a slight variation in terms of policies and practices, such as fcascotland.co.uk. However, generally there is a bunch of criteria that you need to know about before you begin the sign-up process and become too heavily invested. Firstly, you have to be over 21 years old and show that you are in a stable enough place to look after and meet the needs of a foster child. This means you should have your own house or flat (bought or rented) and said house or flat should have a spare bedroom ready for the foster child to move into. Aside from these two main points, you must show that you are not dependent on drugs or alcohol and verify your criminal history too. If you can’t match any of this, fostering may not be the one for you.
It Is a 24-Hour Role
That’s right — just like a parent, a foster carer is on call 24 hours a day. However, there are respite care options so that you are able to have a break period, and this is recommended so that you are able to recalibrate and be the best carer you can be. If you are prepared to make this commitment, then fostering could be a great job choice for you.
Some Days Will Be a Breeze
Without a doubt, there will be days when you feel as though you are on top of the world. This genuine connection foster carers make with their foster children is not something to be easily dismissed. There are all sorts of great moments to be found, and you are going to have a lot of fun. That being said, there will also be difficult days. So, if you are prepared for embracing the mixture of good days and bad ones, you will fit right into the role.
Some Placements Work Great
It is true that some placements that start as a short-term thing can become a long-term placement if the carer is clicking and the need arises. Some placements work great, after all, and real change is possible for this reason. However, it is also worth keeping in mind that some placements just don’t work out and you will have to get used to recognising when this is the case and how to move on peacefully for everyone involved.
Is fostering right for you? There are a lot of emotions involved and only you can make that decision, but it is easier with the facts.