Fostering for a Living
Have You Considered Fostering?
Here’s a short explanation of the Pros and Cons and Hows in the UK.
Fostering in the UK is usually only for children and (in some instances) for young people up to 24 if they are in full time education.
Where Do the Children Come From?
Children are referred by the local council social services for a variety of reasons.
There can be medical Problems in the family.
There may be death or deaths in the family.
There may be issues of safety or neglect of the children.
The decision to remove a child or children is usually made by a Family Court Judge, unless there is an emergency situation.
If it is an emergency then the local authority social services and possibly the police may be involved in the first instance.
Reasons for Placing a Child in Foster Care
As a society we have a responsibility to protect vulnerable children.
We have a duty to keep them safe, to allow them to feel safe and to ensure they have the things they need, food, sleep and clothing.
Their mental and emotional health has also to be ensured.
If too many of these are missing then after exhaustive attempts to keep the children in situ or with relatives, they may be taken into care. This May be in the short term or longer.
What Do They Need?
A place to live and be accepted and protected.
A chance to grow up in a caring relationship with adults.
Is Fostering the Tame as Adoption?
No. Adoption is permanent and it is complicated and fairly long winded to complete.
Fostering can be anything from 1 night to several years.
It can last until the child is into their late teens in some circumstances.
Do We Get Paid?
Yes. It will not make you rich.
Most local authorities pay per child per night they are with you.
How much varies from County to county and from Agency to Agency.
If the local Authority cannot place a child with their own foster carers, they will contact local agencies. Each agency pays in a different way and slightly varying amounts.
The agencies are heavily vetted and have to be Ofsted tested like schools.
The agencies answer to the local authority and must comply with rigorous standards.
Who Can Foster?
Almost anyone. There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to become a registered Foster Carer. Your life and attitudes will be scrutinised. No one is perfect and we all come from very different backgrounds. So do the children who need caring for, so matching the child with an appropriate family means a lot of different backgrounds and skills are needed in carers.
There are some things which might preclude a person from fostering; a bad police record if it includes violence or abuse of any kind. Beyond that it will depend on what you have done with your life.
Your academic background is almost irrelevant.
You need to be adaptable and able to put the child’s needs top of your priority list.
You need two things above all else:
- You must like children.
- Want to help them.
Is There a Demand?
Thousands of placements are needed monthly on a national basis and the number is growing.
Can We Live off the Fostering?
Everyone’s situation is different and sometimes it is possible, but do not consider it if your motivation is only money, you will eventually fail.
There is extensive and on going training to undergo as a foster carer.
The situations you may face and how to deal with them.
The laws and obligations.
The support network which links to you and also the child.
The reporting and dialogues with other professionals; teachers, therapists, social workers etc.
The kinds of challenges you may face in the children’s behaviour and attitudes.
It is a challenging and rewarding career.
Yes, it is a professional career and needs to be regarded as that.
You will meet some of the most interesting and wonderful people.
You will work with some of the most vulnerable and fascinating children.
It is one of the most rewarding careers.
You will need to be open, honest and communicative with the people you work with. We are all human and different.
If you are looking for a career and would like to support and care for children, then please contact us.
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