Have you read Becoming a Foster Carer – Part One? If not, click here to read first!
Hey, how is everyone doing?
How is the Summer Holiday going? Been pretty hectic for us. I am lead play coordinator for a provision for children with additional needs and we have been open all summer break. Any ways. . .
Becoming a foster carer. . . part 2. Once the applicant has started the process and the buddy or mentor has been allocated, the filling in of the form begins in earnest. Your assessor will visit or telephone weekly, or as often as necessary to discuss and complete the form. It is a lengthy process and can be quite cathartic. Things like, how you were parented, questions about your grandparents, schooling, education, your thoughts on education and many other things. It is quite intrusive, but the agency needs to know that you have the appropriate skill set to look after and care for other people’s children. There are a set of competencies that need to be reached. The form is set out in a way that by answering the questions you are reaching or matching the competencies.
House rules are important. You will have them in your home already but may not realise it. For instance, who puts the bins out, who does the dishes, knock before entering a bedroom and wait to be asked in etc. Each household has different ‘rules’ and you will be asked how you run your home now and what you think might be pertinent to put in place for a child or young person to come live with you. Expectations around keeping each other safe, foster carers, birth children and foster children will be discussed, and how to safeguard everyone appropriately. Guidance and advice is available 24/7 via your assessor initially, then your Supervising Social Worker and of course any friends you make along the way via networking meetings and training.
Once the form is completed it is read by a panel of people; someone who has been in the foster system, a medical professional, social workers, a foster carer, plus the independent chairperson. The applicants will be invited to Panel and the form will be approved and recommendations given for your suitability to foster. Your Assessor will be with you throughout this whole process. The recommendations will then go to the Agency Decision Maker, and you will hear formally of your acceptance to foster.
Fostering is the best job I have had. I have made friends that have become family, and Calon Cymru has become part of my extended family too. The children and young people who come to live with us have made a difference to our family and enhanced our lives. The experience of working within such a supportive team is just the ‘icing on the cake’.
There is always someone at the end of the telephone or to respond to emails, so if you are just thinking about fostering, pick up the telephone or write an email. . .. talk it through with family and friends, then jump on the roller coaster and become a foster carer!
Daisy Doo and Julian too