Looking to foster? Wondering what’s involved? Take a look at this quick guide to everything that is involved in becoming a foster carer in Scotland and giving a vulnerable child a home and a family. Here is all you need to know about the fostering process in Scotland.
From starting your fostering application to approval can take several months and the reason is simple: the fostering agency needs to get to know you, understand why you want to foster and to train you in the necessary skills you will need when you foster a child.
Fostering Process in Scotland: Things You Need to Know
Step 1 – I’m interested!
The first step is to register your interest in fostering. This is an important phase of the fostering process because it is your chance to find out what fostering is all about and how it will affect you, your family and lifestyle.
It gives you the opportunity to explore what support is on offer, what the training is all about, what fostering allowances you will get and other financial support.
Fostering has to be the right decision for you and your family.
Step 2 – Let’s go for it!
Fostering agencies hold recruitment events all over the country and the number of people who decide to make a formal application to become foster carers is high.
There are a few things you need to know about this stage of the fostering process;
It is NOT a short proces: it can take several home visits and several weeks to complete the application form in full.
It is NOT comparing you with other potential carers: unlike other ‘job applications’, carers are not being compared but you are individually assessed on your own merits.
Its an in-depth look at you and what you can offer: you can foster whether you are cohabiting, married or single. You can also foster if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Being a foster carer is about you as a person, and what you can offer a foster child or young person.
Everything is looked at: including your state of health and any convictions you may have.
Step 3 – Start training!
As part of the application process, you will attend a residential training session. Mostly held over a two-day weekend, this initial training looks at common issues that foster carer have to deal with.
Problem behaviour, as well as aspects such as life story work and child protection, are just some of the issues looked at.
Did you know that foster carers can go on to expand their careers with specialist training after they have been approved and started fostering?
Step 4 – Type of placement
At this pre-approval panel stage (see the next step!), you decide the type of fostering placement you think you can offer.
You may, for example, wish to specify the number of children you are prepared to foster (although there are limits!), the age group you feel most comfortable with.
Some foster carers also show an interest in caring for disabled children or children with special needs.
Step 5 – Approved!
The Approval Panel is a group of people, all of whom have links to fostering. They may have or maybe a foster carer, they may have been fostered themselves, they can be members of the local community and there are also professionals on the panel who work in the field of social work, youth work and so on.
They will take a fresh and objective look at your application and they may want to meet you and ask you questions – this isn’t as daunting as it sounds! – and unless they have serious concerns or there is information missing, you may find that your fostering journey is about to begin…
Fostering Care Associates Scotland are currently looking for foster carers from all geographical areas and with all kinds of life experiences to foster children and young people of all ages.
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