Hey, how is everyone doing?
Been a while since I have written a blog. There has been so much going on and I have been working flat out in the Play Scheme I manage. Well, anyway . . . life and work has been going on in the background as usual.
Calon Cymru are always receiving applications from people who are interested in becoming foster carers. There is still a huge shortage of foster carers in Wales, all applications are taken seriously, and some are successful and some not. Foster carers can come in all shapes and sizes, same sex couples, age, ethnicity and single parents can all apply. It is an inclusive profession and ‘differences’ are applauded and recognised. Foster placements also come in all shapes and sizes, LGBTQ+, age ethnicity, solo placement, siblings, additional needs and young parents. Applicants and placements are treated with respect and diplomacy; every consideration is made to ensure no stone is left unturned to find a ‘match’ that fits for both foster carer and child or young person before a placement is made .
So, where does the process of becoming a carer start? Well . . . firstly you need a spare room suitable for a child or young person or sibling group or parent and child placement. Every new applicant brings something to the ‘pot’. We are all different in the way we parent and this is also true of foster care. The major difference between being foster parent and a parent is that you get a handbook, 24 hour support, a Supervising Social Worker, regular networking meetings, training and peer support. There is no ‘job description’ as each placement is so different. There is a form to complete called a ‘Form F’, all potential foster carers have to complete this form, it is generic and is used by local authorities and private agencies when recruiting potential carers. It ensures that ‘competencies’ are met to underpin the experience and parenting skills you may have, again, an inclusive form ensuring equality in the process. If the original application has been successful, the applicant is allocated an assessor to complete the form and ensure everyone is fully supported through the process.
Once the applicant is approximately two thirds of the way into the form filling and all checks for suitability have been completed, Calon Cymru allocate a mentor or ‘buddy’ to the new applicants. Being a ‘buddy’ is something that existing foster carers are asked to do. The buddy will be given contact details of the new applicant and where they are in the process. The new applicant will be informed by their assessor that a buddy will be getting in touch and who to expect the call from. Buddying is a paid role , Calon Cymru appreciate the foster carer is giving up personal time to fulfil this role and that it is important for the new applicant or applicants to feel at ease and have a friend to accompany them to initial networking meetings, training and indeed panel, if required.
Well, I have waffled on for a while now, this blog is going to be a ‘to be continued’…
Watch this space for more info on becoming a foster carer.
Daisy Doo and Julian too