Five Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Foster Carer
You wouldn’t make any major life decision without asking a few questions first. Well, stepping into the role of a foster carer is no exception to this rule! There are a lot of relevant questions you should be asking, and answers you didn’t even know you needed. Here are the top five things to ask before you sign up.
What Experience Does The Agency Have?
This is an important question because it will show you how much support there is for you as you move through the process. Fostering People, for instance, has been in operation for over two decades, and this is an amazing thing, to say the least! An establishment that knows the ropes is your safest, most reliable option.
Do I Have the Right Personality?
More or less anyone from any walk of life can step up and become a foster carer, but you have to be a great fit for the part. There are certain types of personality that are better suited to fostering. For example, people with amazing empathy and compassion skills will always naturally fit better into the environment than those who may struggle with emotions. It is important to be able to regulate in a healthy way and be the type of person who won’t hesitate to stand up and speak out while showing up for the children you look after.
Is My House Suitable?
The good news is, that most houses with a spare bedroom are more than well-equipped to look after a child. As long as they are clean, tidy, and functional your house is a wonderful space to welcome a child into. There will be a few requirements for the foster child’s bedroom like making sure it has the right type of furniture and is properly decorated before they move in.
Will I Have the Time?
It is a common myth that foster carers are not allowed to work alongside their caring responsibilities. The truth is, a part time job with minimal hours is actually encouraged. While you will receive a fostering allowance, it is nice to retain that part of your life as well, as long as you have enough time to be a dedicated carer alongside it. Fostering is very much a full-time role because the child will live with you and need to be taken care of at all hours of the day and night. Lots of carers pick up a few short shifts while the child is at school.
Is Everyone On Board with This Decision?
If you live by yourself, this question doesn’t really matter. However, if you have children in the house or a partner then it is really relevant. Everyone in the home has to be on board with the decision to foster, and this will be checked by a member of the foster care agency before you are allowed to apply.
These five questions will help you make a great decision about whether you can or cannot become a carer. It is a role that needs dedicated people and ones who understand what it takes.