Fostering a child is one of the most benevolent acts an adult can do. It provides a child with a safe, comfortable home, ensuring a better childhood. Fostering isn’t something anyone can do, though – there are requirements you must meet beforehand.
Be at Least Twenty-One Years Old
First of all, to foster a child in the UK, you must be at least twenty-one years of age. While you might be able to drive a car by seventeen and drink at eighteen, fostering a child is a whole new level of responsibility, and requires a mature adult to take on the role. Plus, twenty-one-year-olds tend to be more financially stable than those younger. There are fostering allowances to help you afford to foster, though, so go to thefca.co.uk for more information.
Be a UK Resident
Next, you need to prove that you are a UK resident if you want to foster in the UK. You don’t have to be a British citizen, however, as long as you reside in the UK.
Have a Large Enough Spare Bedroom
To home a child, you need to have a certain amount of space, including a large enough spare bedroom in your home. It means that the child you foster has enough space for their belongings, as well as enough privacy (depending on their age – an infant won’t need as much as a teen).
Have the Time to Care for the Child
Having enough time to care for the child is another requirement for fostering a child. If you and your partner work full-time and can’t be at home to look after and spend time with the child, then you likely won’t qualify. It’s not just time spent with the child that is important, either – you will also be their advocate and need to go to meetings with their social worker.
Other Factors Are Considered
While these four requirements are what social workers first look for, other factors are taken into account when considering whether a person is right for fostering.
· Your Past
Your past, specifically your criminal history, is taken into account. Having a criminal record won’t necessarily prevent you from fostering, but it’s imperative to be open and honest about your history with social workers when applying.
· Your Finances
Your finances are also taken into account when applying to foster. While you may receive allowances, it’s better to be financially stable before applying.
· Your Health
Your health matters, too. Someone who has crippling health conditions isn’t as fit to look after a child as someone healthy.
· Your Experience
The amount of experience you have looking after children is also considered. If you have a history of looking after kids, your application may do better.
· Your Home
As well as a spare bedroom, your home will also need to be in a good condition to house a child. For example, a home with damp wouldn’t be suitable. When the child stays there, they must be safe and comfortable.
By making sure you meet the requirements, your chance of a successful application increases.