If you have been considering becoming a foster carer, it is very likely to be something that has been in your mind for quite a while. It is not the sort of thing that people, rational people do on impulse. You will be interested in children – that should go without saying. There are some people who might be motivated purely by the financial side: such individuals are usually ‘weeded out’ in the selection process. In any event, there has been publicity around government looking to cut costs and this has fed through to some allowances being frozen. It is not uncommon for dedicated foster carers to spend their own money to make sure that the foster child in their care does not go without. Whilst this is a far from being desirable – there is a silver lining in this particular cloud: the people with the right motivations to foster are more likely to come forward. And they are urgently needed. Recent figures show the numbers of foster children in the care system across the UK has exceeded 70,000 – the highest level in 30 years: over 9,000 new foster families are needed in 2017.
Motivation is fine, but it must be tested against reality. Being suited to fostering necessitates certain traits. If you possess these, there is no reason why you should not become a foster carer. It’s a well worn phrase ‘it’s not rocket science’; and although it sounds a bit simplistic, to be a foster carer you have to like and be interested in children and young people. But, you cannot be dewey-eyed. Naivety simply does not last very long in fostering. Well tempered altruism blended with pragmatism is what we search for in our applicants. Not that they arrive proclaiming such personal attributes – we simply have the experience at this fostering agency of spotting the ‘type’.
This has all been said well in the words of Paul Adams, fostering development consultant for CoramBAAF: he emphasises an interest in children is a pre-requisite – adding:
“fostering is not for people who want an easy life, it does bring with it a whole range of challenges. We want people who can provide warmth, empathy and care for children, who can set boundaries and also people who have a good level of resilience and stickability.”
You must give very careful consideration to becoming a foster carerif you already have your own children. There is no reason why this cannot be a very beneficial experience for all concerned. There are, however, certain issues to take into account and reflect upon. Our Rainbow website has a special section – ‘Carers’ Info’ which gives further information on this subject.
Do careful research into becoming a foster carer.
There is a choice available when fostering children; you can either foster through a local authority, or an independent fostering organisation (IFA). Ideally, your fostering service should be local and you should find out what support will be available. Because the shortage of foster carers is urgent, your enquiry will certainly be welcomed. Agencies provide information about fostering as well as, in most cases, the opportunity for you to immediately make a phone call and get information first hand. You will have the time to think about what will be a life changing decision – if you decide to proceed. If you decide to find out more about fostering children, at Rainbow Fostering we pride ourselves on the way we handle all our initial enquiries: we know people find it enjoyable, relaxing and informative to have a chat with us over the phone. We aim always to give out the information on which to base a decision – along with an idea of what joining our Rainbow team would be like.
And the good news at the end of this weeks Rainbow…
we are celebrating birthdays again this week – two of our children and one of our foster carers have received the congratulations of everyone here at Rainbow.
Our fostering ‘Rewards’ bonus scheme explained.
At Rainbow we aim to attract carers with current fostering experience – consequently we pay a bonus of £500 if you can refer someone for fostering with us. Once their first placement has been made, we will pay you the bonus. If you are already fostering and have a long term placement, then please consider transferring to us. If you do, you will also receive a bonus. At Rainbow, we also provide advice covering a range of fostering issues: these might be – how long does it take to become a foster carer? How much do private fostering agencies pay? How to go about fostering babies are all examples of the kinds of questions we routinely get asked about fostering.
Please do read the articles on our news section about fostering.
Take the time to read our news section on the website: there are many varied fostering articles available. Simply visit http://bit.ly/2e8PrIK