AD | Collaborative post
If you are reading this, that alone indicates some degree of interest on your part. However, there are far more practical reasons as to why you should at least consider taking up the mantle than just a passing interest. Let’s look at a few of the most important ones next.
There are Children in Need Around You
According to data published by the Department for Education (DfE), there were 57,380 children in the English foster care system, as of 2020. Although no number is specified, official stats also confirm that the number of English children in foster care has since grown by 11%. As a result, there are more foster carers working with the system than ever before, and yet, the numbers are not enough.
Despite the boost in foster care homes, there just aren’t enough of them to make sure every child in the system receives the care they need. If you would like to help those children in need and leave a positive impact on their lives, becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding ways to do it.
Although help is needed across all parts of England, some locations have a more dire shortage of foster care providers than others. Sheffield, for example, ranks high on that list and if you live anywhere close to the city, contact fosteringpeople.co.uk for more information on how to get started.
Fostering Can be an Opportunity
Fostering a child is something that goes beyond the simple definition of a job, which can actually work in your favour. If you enjoy the company of children and know how to take care of them, becoming a foster care provider might just be an excellent opportunity for you. If you do get accepted as a foster carer, you will not have enough time to hold another full-time job, as caring for the children must always be your priority for as long as you decide to work in the foster care.
It’s true that money must never be a driving factor for any prospective foster carer, but it’s most certainly a practical concern because of how much time you must devote to caring for the children. Rest assured that you will be adequately compensated with fostering allowances, special benefits, and tax exemptions (up to £18,140 per home) for your time. The allowances are not universal, as they vary depending on several factor like the location, the care provider’s qualifications, the kind of care they are providing, the foster child’s needs, and the concerned foster care agency.
Not Everyone is Accepted as a Foster Carer by the System
On paper, the minimum qualifications for prospective foster parents are as follows:
- Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United Kingdom.
- Must be aged at least 21 or above.
- The carer must have a spare bedroom ready for a foster child to move in.
- The carer must not have a criminal record of violent/sexual crimes.
- The carer must not be living in the same household with anyone who has a criminal history of violent/sexual crimes.
- Older, nonviolent and nonsexual crimes might be exempted, but that fact must be disclosed to the agency in advance.
Between 2020 to 2021, 68% of all applications were declined because they failed on any one or more of the above criteria or they could not meet the caring standards expected by the fostering agency during their two interviews.
If you are accepted as a foster care provider by the system, it automatically means that you have a calling for the job. Besides, you can always start with short-term foster care and see how you feel about the whole experience.