There are any number of children throughout the UK who are in need of some form of Foster care. Their family may be destitute or broken with parents drinking or drugging. The mother might have been sentenced to a term of detention or be sick and hospitalised and the father is unable or unsuitable to care for them on his own. There might be step parents who are abusive or violent. For whatever reason the social workers will take the necessary steps to see that these children, who are in need of care, are found a place that will care for them for however long it takes.
Becoming a foster carer takes a lot of empathy and kindness. One is admitting an unknown quantity into one's home. All you do know is that a child will come and live with you and your family for a while and that child may be emotionally damaged or have been abused but is in need of care and love.
When thinking about Fostering be aware that although it is sought after the families that actually are selected to become foster carers are still specially selected and have to go through a rigorous period of assessment. This is understandable and necessary as the chances are good that the child has been traumatised in some way and in need of care and cherishing. The agency regards a child as a special gift and wishes to ensure that whoever takes care of these vulnerable children will act with kindness, give the child the cherishing, care, security and love that they need.
The first thing when one considers fostering is to think about how an additional, and unknown child will fit into your household. A basic requirement is that the child be given their own bedroom so there would need to be an unused bedroom in the household. There is no strict requirements about your own status, as long as you are over 21 and live in a stable household the agency will undertake an assessment. The next thing to do is ask for more information and read up about fostering.
The assessment process is a detailed look at you and your family. The social workers will visit often over a period of some months to determine your and your family's suitability. Referees will be required as well as criminal checks as a matter of course. The whole rigorous process may take some time and be fairly stressful. But it is important for the children to get it right. Once approved you will be registered on the list of suitable foster parents and the agency will then match suitable children to your needs.
The commitment is up to you. You may indicate that you are prepared to accept a child and foster them for a long term, in other words from the time they arrive until such time as they are ready to leave home and set up on their own.
Fostering is a wonderful thing to do and if you believe you have the empathy and your family is suitable you will be very welcome.