If you were thinking of becoming a foster parent but are still on the fence because of apprehensions, dig into the subject a little deeper and do not be afraid to get information from different sources. Only through research and by talking with agencies will you be able to know what being a foster parent is truly about and clarify some of the things you don’t understand about it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions people have about foster parenting.
Do I Need to be in a Couple to be a Foster Parent?
No, you don’t. A lot of people assume that you have to have a partner when in reality, all you need is to show that you’re capable of taking care of a child to be a foster parent. If you want to retain your current source of income, however, you may need to have a partner to take care of the child when you’re not there. Besides that, only a lack of money and no suitable bedroom for a child or issues with your background or medical evaluation could stop you. Or if you’re under 18 years old. If you don’t fit into any of these categories, then there’s a good chance that you’re eligible.
How much can I Expect to Get in Compensation?
This will depend on the agency you work with, so you will have to choose an agency and speak to them directly. Agencies like thefca.co.uk, for instance, give out around £435 per child per week on average, and this can vary depending on the child and the arrangement. Most agencies will give out extra allowances and benefits as well. And you may also be subject to certain tax benefits.
Do I Need to be a Homeowner?
No, you don’t. The only thing you need is a place for the child to live comfortably. You will, however, need to be able to show that you have the means to take care of a child. The agency will also look at how stable your situation has been over the last few years.
How Short are the Assignments?
The first thing you should know is that there are both long-term and short-term arrangements with foster parenting and you don’t necessarily have to constantly switch. If you’d rather go for a long-term arrangement, these can last well over two years in some cases, and you could even decide to adopt the child at the end.
If you prefer the flexibility of short-term assignments, on the other hand, these can last anywhere from a few days to up to two years. You can also offer respite foster care and take care of another family’s foster child while they take a break. These assignments will usually be for a few days or weeks.
Now that you know a bit more about foster parenting and what to expect, it could be a good time to speak with an agency near you and see how they can help. Try to find out as much as you can about the application process and don’t hesitate to meet them in person to get more clarifications.