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Fostering Children UK

The government sets the rules and regulations for foster care in the UK. Local authorities and fostering agencies implement the rules and regulations, which govern the assessment, training, and monitoring of foster care.

The concept of fostering a child is universal and the essence of it is that the carer assumes the parental role. The length of the role is often not predetermined. It can be an emergency or short-term arrangement that lasts for a day or a week or it can be a long term or permanent arrangement that lasts until the child or young person reaches eighteen. What begins as a short-term arrangement may become a long-term arrangement. There are different types of fostering such as respite care and remand care. Respite care provides a break for biological parents or foster carers when the child has demanding special needs or behavioural issues or simply when they need a holiday or break. Remand foster care is specific to England and Wales, which allows courts to remand young people to foster care rather than to secure units.

While local authorities have typically been in charge of placements, over the past twenty five years or so, independent fostering agencies have developed as conduits between foster carers and children and young people in care. Local authorities frequently make arrangements with fostering agencies, which tend to have more dedicated resources for assessing and maintaining foster parents. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates independent fostering agencies as part of its mandate to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people.

Independent fostering agency providers and managers are required to register with Ofsted. This provides protection and assurance to local authorities when they outsource fostering responsibilities to independent agencies. Because it is not legal for an independent fostering agency to operate without registration with Ofsted, the foster care system is given a guarantee that ensures that the system is properly maintained.

What to do if you are interested in becoming a foster carer and are wondering if you could foster?

In the UK, you may become a foster parent if you are mature and healthy with a spare bedroom at home. There are no upper age limits. Capstone Foster Care usually expects foster carers to be at least 25 years old. You may be single, married, divorced, cohabiting, or in a same sex relationship.

There are 63,000 children in care in the UK at any given time with another 7,000 children who are waiting for a home. While it is good to talk to family and friends and get their advice on this line of work, Capstone is able to provide precise information on how to become registered and approved as one of our foster families. This is a life changing decision that makes a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable children. After you are accepted and trained, you will always have a social worker to help with any situation that may arise.

If you want to know more about fostering, contact Capstone Foster Care today on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

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