Foster Care: Where to Start?

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If you or you and your partner find appeal in taking in a foster child and becoming a foster parent or foster carer, all you need to do is inform a social worker or call up social services and inform them of such. What’s going to happen is a series of tests and assessments that will take some time and effort, but the rewards will definitely be worth it. You and your partner (if you are part of a couple)’s capability to take care of children will be measured. This is not to put you down or anything but rather to make sure that you would be a foster child will be in safe and capable hands.

If you do not know yet the process on how to become a foster carer, the first thing that is usually done is a visit from the social worker who is part of the ‘recruitment” department (the department in charge of recruiting foster carers). At this first visit, the social worker will discuss with you the basics of fostering, the process and answer whatever questions you may have as well.  If you pass the initial visit and want to proceed,  social services will then notify you that you will have to undergo some kind of training  that you need to complete. It’s usually known as a pre approval course. During this time, you may want to start the formal application process as well. It depends on the social services in your areas, but generally, what is entailed in the application process are the following: a full physical check up to make sure you are physically fit to care for a child need that you do not have any conditions that may put a child at risk, police checks, where forms of identification are asked from you. Character references will also be required (at least two of them) and these references usually ask to write a letter and be interviewed.

Similar to the adoption process, a series of assessments will be conducted. A social worker will be assigned to get details and work closely with you during this process, conducting interviews, checks. This can take several weeks to a few months to be completed. You need to keep in mind that your relationship and communication with the social worker assigned to your application should be an open and honest one. He or she will also be monitoring and interviewing other members of your household, if applicable. At this stage, you can still withdraw your application any time.

After the series of assessments have been completed, the next step in the process is usually the last one. This is commonly known as the fostering panel and this is where you will know if your application has been approved or declined. The decision makers are composed of people who work in social services and are considered experts in fostering. There are instances where you are needed by the panel to answer further questions, but in some, there is no need for you to be present during their discussion. You will then be notified if you have been approved to become a foster carer or not.

Foster Care Issues in the UK

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Fostering in London and other parts of the United Kingdom have never been more needed at this moment. The numbers speak for themselves. As of May 31, 2014, there were a total of sixty eight thousand eight hundred forty children who were assigned to be cared for by local authorities. This number rose by about two percent compared to May of last year. Also, in 204, the rate of kids being taken care of by foster families per ten thousand under the age of 18 years old was 60. This number varies greatly at local government or authority level from a low of 20 (in Wokingham) to a high of one hundred fifty two (in Blackpool).

These statistical numbers are the reasons why there are still legislative and judicial issues regarding foster care all over Britain today. Some issues have had positive outcomes, like the Don’t Move Me campaign, authored by The Fostering Network. In this campaign, The fostering Network ha ruled that all young people under foster care should be given the option to remain with their foster care or foster parents until the age of twenty one. The campaign has recently succeeded in revising  the legislature in England, Wales and Scotland, which originally intended only for foster children to be cared for by their father careers up until the age of 18 years old. In December of last year, the English government announced that they have included a Staying Put amendment under the Children and Families Bill  giving all fostered young people in England the right to remain with their foster carers until the age of twenty one. Local authorities were even given the responsibility to provide financial aid to these young people who will opt to stay with their foster families until they will reach adulthood. Similar amendments have been introduced in Wale, Scotland and even Northern Ireland.

Another issue that has been recently addressed in favor of foster care I am regarding housing benefits. In April of last year, the Department for Work and Pensions made it known to the public that there were some last minute changes made to the housing benefit reform, whereby one bedroom for foster kids we exempted from what became known as “bedroom tax”. The amendment was definitely in favor of those foster carers who have private rented accommodation or are in social housing. This change applies to all of England, Wales & Scotland. However, it is dismaying to find out that foster carers who are fostering two to three or more children are still being penalized by losing housing benefit on more than one bedroom occupied by foster children.

There are still a lot more issues related to foster care that need to be addressed by the UK government. In April of this year, The Fostering Network sought views and consultation on proposed regulations to give local authorities greater freedom a to how they provide social services to put children up for foster care. Hopefully, this and other issues will be addressed in favor of foster children and their carers.

5 Tips to Get Approved in Fostering Agencies

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In fostering agencies you need to pass different things before you can get the approval of adopting a child. Yes, it is a long process to insure that you are really interested in getting a child for your family. It is not a pet and it is a life that we are talking about, so if you are really determined to get a child that will love you, then start doing the right thing and get ready to adjust for a child’s needs.

Here are the 5 tips that you can use to get approved for adopting a child.

Be a perfect parent – you need to know how to raise a child such as how to let them eat, sleep, play and enjoy. There are few things that a mother and a father should do when they are going to raise a child. It also includes teaching them the right manners, of discipline, guide them and to know how to approach them right.

Provide the child their needs – they need a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear, but most importantly, they need to be loved and forget about the past. As a parent, you have to make sure that the child will experience all the good things in the world, and let the child move on from their experience of abuse.

Place to live – when you adopt a child, you must consider the fact that the child is living with you, so as much as possible make your place welcoming of the child. It is also important to make every part of the house safe for him or her to play or roam around. The fostering agency does not provide approval when you are not living in a safe and stable home.

People around you – have you heard of “same feather flocks together” if yes then you might understand the risk of the people around you that affects the childish mind. You have to make sure that you are dealing or having friends with the right people because what they see is what they will follow. It will affect their personality and outlook in growing up.

Follow the rules – you also need to follow the regulations the at every fostering agency needs when it comes to adopting a child. They need to be strict, almost about everything because the child life is at risk. These rules are the things you need to pass before you can adopt a child just to make sure that the child that you are going to adopt is safe in your arms. It includes the personality, marriage status, stable employment, the age of the parent, foster, healthy of both party and of course, the motivating part in how to make the child mold into a better person.

There are many fostering agencies all over the world, but it does not mean you can try and try until you get a child from different agencies, this is why you need to get approval for the Childs’ safety in your hands. They need to make sure that you are worthy and responsible enough to adopt and raise a child, if you are not capable or not approved because you did not meet the requirements then you are not allowed to adopt a child.