If you’re in the UK, choosing to foster a child can be a gainful experience that also gets you a little bit of compensation for your trouble. While a lot of that compensation is expected to go towards the child’s needs, it is understood that the rest will go towards things like upkeep of your domicile and keeping the lights on.
Choosing to foster a child isn’t a decision to be made lightly, however. You will be the legal guardian of the child and be responsible for their upbringing and well being during the time they spend with you. Essentially, you will be a very crucial part of a child’s formative years. Preparation is key to a stress-free environment during the duration of the child’s stay. Many people are still woefully uneducated about fostering children before they take the plunge.
Here’s some relevant information you should know about foster care.
What Exactly Is Foster Care?
Fostering is a way to give children access to a safe and caring household because of issues with their personal lives that make them unable to have such provided to them by their parents. They aren’t necessarily delinquents, but instead disadvantaged children who might not have any other family after an accident or tragedy struck or if their parents were deemed unfit. A child can be put into the foster care system for a multitude of reasons, these aren’t “bad apples.”
Fostering is when a child is placed into a regular household for a duration of time. This period of time can be as short as a few weeks or months or could last several years depending on the circumstances and the foster carer’s willingness to continue on with that particular child. Nearly anyone with extra room in their home and enough compassion to work through the circumstances that brought the child to them is eligible to be a foster parent.
Yes, You Get Compensated
You aren’t letting children into your home free of charge, the government has the foster care system to connect children with caring adults as an alternative to children’s homes where the individual needs of each and every child aren’t always met. As it explains on the Perpetual Fostering website, weekly compensation minimums for careers fostering babies in London and the South East start at £127. This compensation can increase to £146, depending on the situation. Some people become career foster careers because they want to use their experiences in life to help others and help disadvantaged children have a better life. You will be compensated by the government for opening up your home and dedicating the time necessary to help a child grow. Typically, compensation is both an allowance and a reward pay for all of the hard work you’ve been putting in.
What Is The Process For Becoming A Foster Parent?
When you first declare interest in becoming a foster parent, you’ll be set up with a social worker who will determine your eligibility. The requirements are simple, you need to be in good health and have a spare bathroom for the child’s use. Also, you must not have had any serious criminal convictions and cannot have declared bankruptcy in the past. Essentially, as long as you have enough room for the child and are in good financial and social standing you will be moved further down the line. After a chat with the social worker as to what will be expected from you, you’ll be given information on what challenges lay ahead and how to prepare yourself adequately for the task you’re going to take on. From there, you’ll chat with the social worker again to ensure that you understand that this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly and if she approves you your final step will be to be reviewed by a panel. The independent panel will review the report given to them by the social worker and determine if you will be given a foster child. If you are approved then you’ll be put through to the matchmaking process where you’ll be matched to a child that will best flourish under your care.
Deciding to be a foster parent can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things an individual can do. If you decide to foster multiple children over time you can sleep at night knowing you’ve made a positive impact on dozens of lives and made their journey through life just a little bit easier. Some of these children aren’t used to the level of care they receive from their foster parents, and many foster carers become addicted to the looks of astonishment, they get from some children after they receive some genuine care and affection. While it might be learning process for a lot of the children, foster careers tend to learn a lot about themselves as well.