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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Becoming a Foster Carer

Becoming a foster carer can prove to be a rewarding and life-changing experience. However, it is important to note that those who are interested in fostering children must undergo various steps and procedures to ensure that they are capable to do so. Potential foster parents usually work with fostering agencies that assess various indicators of health, competence, and responsibility.

Reputable agencies will be able to provide invaluable support while also ensuring the well-being of the child. Paper applications are only the first step towards becoming a foster carer. After reviewing preliminary application materials, trained agency officials routinely perform home visits. These are meant both to ensure the home’s safety and liveability as well as to get to know applicants. Applicants are also expected to attend workshops to better understand the roles and duties of foster parents, and to ease any anxieties that may arise.

Fostering agencies also conduct extensive assessments of all applicants, and may help applicants through the assessment process. This process takes an average of 12 weeks, in which references are checked and personal/ criminal records are examined. Once applicants are approved, they are able to move forward to the final step of the application process, during which an experienced panel makes a final determination of an application.

While these logistical factors are all highly important to becoming a foster carer, they are not the only factors. Applicants must also ready themselves- emotionally, financially, and in a multitude of other ways- for foster parenting. Foster parenting can be incredibly gratifying to all parties involved, so long as proper preparations are made.

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