Fostering is a noble task that should be undertaken by more adults but that does not necessarily mean everyone is well suited for the tasks it involves. If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent but you have doubts, then you may find the following paragraphs to be quite helpful.
You Meet the Eligibility Requirements for Applying
Admittedly, simply meeting the application eligibility requirements does not mean you are ready to take on the responsibilities. Nevertheless, it’s a great start as those requirements are there for a reason after all. To apply:
- You must be a citizen, or a permanent resident with an unlimited work permit
- You must be at least 18+, or most preferably 21+
- Your home must have at least one spare room for your foster child
- You meet any additional requirements that the foster care agency has mentioned
Note that no one with a prior criminal record for violence and/or domestic abuse of any kind should ever apply to work in the foster care system. If you have any prior criminal records of a different nature, disclose it to the foster care agency beforehand and ask if you can still apply.
You Have the Time
While working in foster care does not prohibit you from holding other jobs on the side, the rules make it clear that caring for the children must remain your priority for as long as you are working as a foster parent. What that means is, you must have enough time available to take care of the children under your care, irrespective of whether you are working right now or not.
If you are not working full time currently, then fostering might be a better fit than you realise. You will have the time you need to carry out your fostering responsibilities and the allocated fostering allowance should be more than enough to take care of the children under your care.
You Have the Will to Help Children in Distress
It must be mentioned that having special skills, training, and experience can certainly be helpful, but none of that is mandatory to become a foster parent. Having certain attributes on the resume will open your fostering options up to more complex assignments, but that is optional.
Even if you don’t have any prior experience with children, the foster care agency will arrange for training to help you with that. Above all else, it’s the will to help children in distress that counts. As long as you pass the agency’s assessment tests and interviews, they will make sure that the assignments match your skill level as a foster caregiver.
Start with regular short term and emergency fostering, but you can gain experience and receive training along the way to handle more demanding responsibilities. Don’t worry though, just the act of being a part of the system alone is enough, even if you stick to the less demanding assignments further down the line as well.