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Becoming A Foster Carer

Have you thought about fostering and wondered how to become a foster carer? Do you have a lot of questions about what is involved? If you know people who are already fostering, then you have a head start. If the idea is new to you, there are some facts about being a foster family that are worthwhile mentioning.

To begin with, this can be a full-time career. There are government established allowances calculated on a weekly basis for fostering all children from birth until they turn 18. These rates vary slightly depending upon where in the UK you are located and they are adjusted every April.

If you are a couple who foster, one or both of you may have a job outside the home as well. The requirement is that one of you is available at all times. Access to a vehicle is advised. There is a lot of driving such as attending meetings with teachers, going to doctor’s appointments, attending fostering workshops, and chauffeuring children to extracurricular activities.

Who Can Foster?

You don’t have to be a married couple. You don’t have to be straight. You don’t have to own your home. You don’t have to be young. At Capstone Foster Care, the minimum age limit for foster carers is 25 although in extraordinary circumstances, this could drop to 21.

The first thing to do is call Capstone Foster Care for a preliminary chat with one of our recruitment coordinators. It only takes a few questions to know if this is the right career for you. You will not be pressured into making a decision. Take your time. Once you express interest in fostering, our staff will visit your home. This gives you an opportunity to ask more questions and us the chance to see if you have the space necessary. If you prefer you can begin with a call to your local authority for preliminary information.

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The next step is for you to fill out an application form and a social worker begins the assessment process. The social worker will visit your home several times and get to know you and your household and learn about your experience with children.

There are several checks that are conducted. These include Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Social Services and medical checks. As well there will be a home risk assessment. A recruitment coordinator will keep you informed of the progress of your application during this time. You will attend training sessions where you meet other people undergoing the same process, learn about fostering, and have all your questions answered.

The final assessment is given to an independent panel which will meet with you. The panel provides Capstone Foster Care with its recommendation and our decision maker will make the final decision using the panel’s recommendation as a guide. It can take four to six months for your application to be reviewed.

The types of fostering includes emergency, short term, short break, long term, permanent, therapeutic, parent and child, and remand foster care. Sometimes a child who is in long-term foster care or permanent foster care will become available for adoption. Therapeutic placements focus on challenging behaviours. Remand care is specific to England and Wales where courts often choose to release young offenders into foster care.

At any given time, almost 9,000 of these children are waiting for foster parents.  If you would like to register your interest, or simply talk to someone further, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

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