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Most of us have heard of the term 'Fostering', it is something I have thought about in the past and would be something Ben & I would really consider once Abbie is a little bit older! Fostering is a pretty big responsibility to take on and while it is hugely rewarding and can transform people’s lives for the better, it is not something that can be decided on overnight. There are lots of factors to consider and Foster arrangements come in a wide variety of forms meaning there is an arrangement to fit most people, however, foster care settings require certain conditions and following considerations, before committing yourself to the process., it's also worth talking to a representative from an agency such as Capstone to fully put you in the picture.
Size of your Home
While different arrangement will require different sized homes, it is worth thinking about where in your home an extra person would fit. A spare bedroom would be advantageous but it is not a requirement when some foster children could share with their new siblings. You also should consider usage of other amenities such as the bathroom (which can often be contentious!) and the meal time set-up.
Your Work Schedule
It is more than possible to balance full time work with foster caring responsibilities but if you work hours which conflict with important duties such as the school run and weekend care you may have to address this. If you are looking at a long term foster arrangement you will also need to look at your career prospects and how solid your employment is.
Your Personal Habits
Smoking does not automatically count you out of being able to foster but it may count against you. You should also look at your drinking habits and general fitness as a role model to a young person. A child in foster care needs a stable, loving home as well as carers who she can look up to and depend on.
Your Personality and Skillset
Foster carers need to be loving, supportive people who have large reserves of patience. Children and young people in foster care have come from a variety of backgrounds but it is always important that carers are great listeners who prioritise the needs of their children and dependents. However, lots of foster agencies provide training as part of the care process which may enable you to develop these skills if you fear there is a deficit.
Your Personal Circumstances
People who are single, married, in single-sex relationships are all eligible to foster so do not think you are unable to provide care if you in any of these situations. However, it is vital you look to the future to ensure you can provide a stable home as it is unfair to put the young person in question through any more upheaval.
As mentioned above, foster carers come in all forms so ensure you talk to an expert before with counting yourself out or committing yourself to the process.