Before you decide to foster a child, you might want more information about how fostering a child works and the process that you will have to go through before you can become a foster carer. Then, this article covers everything that you will need to know about fostering a child in 2021 and beyond.
Finding an Agency
One of the most important aspects of fostering a child is that you will need to apply to become a foster carer with your local council or with a fostering agency. You should not be put off from applying if you are young, as you can foster at any age over 21. There are many of these across the country and the world. For instance, at thefca.co.uk, they can help those who are longing to foster a child in the UK to start to fostering process and to be matched with a child who they can help to grow and thrive in the future. The agency that you choose can also determine how much allowance you will get and how long it might be before you can bring a child home.
Once you have found an agency, you can then submit your application, and once this is accepted, you will have to be assessed so that you can be matched with the right child for you and your home.
Your Rights as a Foster Parent
As a foster parent, you will not be able to make decisions for the child and will not have any rights over them, even when it comes to decisions about their schooling or education. Their rights are held by the local authority, and you are only a non-permanent guardian who is responsible for their care and wellbeing while they live with you. You must look after the child full time, and you will not be able to take them out of the area at all without first speaking to the fostering agency or authority in question. If you want rights over the child in your care, you should consider adopting a child rather than fostering them.
Self-Employment as a Foster Carer
As a foster carer, you will need to register as being self-employed, as you will receive an income from your foster agency for the child’s expenses. This amount depends on the agency that you choose, as well as the needs and age of the child, and the region that you are fostering in. You may also be able to get tax relief that can ensure that you are not taxed on all of the money that you receive as income for looking after the child.
Length of Their Stay
The length of the child’s stay will depend on whether you have decided to opt for long-term or short-term fostering. If you have decided to opt for long-term fostering, the child may be with you until they grow up, whereas a short-term placement may be with you only until they are reunified with their biological parents or guardians. Emergency fostering may see you act only as a pit-stop between more permanent fostering solutions, and you might see a high turnover of children under your care. However long their stay is, though, you should always try to make them feel at home.