What Do Foster Carers Do?

When you foster a child, you will receive plenty of training upfront and during the time you foster to ensure that you have all the required skills and knowledge. This will come about after you have been screened for suitability and your home has been assessed to ensure that it can accommodate the full household and a foster child, who must have a separate bedroom from any other members of the family. But, as you make your decision to foster, you are no doubt wondering exactly what a foster carer’s duties entail. We have provided this guide to make that knowledge available and help you make your choice.

Types of Fostering

The briefest type of fostering usually follows an emergency that led to a child being removed from the parental home. The span of this kind of fostering can be from one night to several days. Short-term fostering lasts for a couple of weeks to two years. Thereafter, the child will return to living with their biological parents or be moved somewhere with greater permanency, such as an adoption or long-term care.

Long-term fostering is generally involved when the foster child is placed with a family for years, and this is frequently until the child completes their schooling and can enter adult life. Many foster children continue to be a part of the carer’s family for the rest of their lives because a strong bond was formed. The law permits them to stay with their carer’s up to the age of 21, meaning that the carers will continue to receive an allowance during this time.

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Ages of Foster Children

Foster carers are asked to indicate which age of children they would like to take care of. Some carers prefer teenagers while others may ask to care for those who are prepubescent. Others choose to look after toddlers or babies. This often depends on a variety of factors, such as your experience with children and young people and other lifestyle factors. For example, if you work and foster, then you may be better suited to teenagers who tend to be more independent. Every child is different and you will receive supportive training from the agency, e.g., orangegrovefostercare.co.uk.

Number of Foster Children

The agency will consider your biological children when deciding how many and what age foster children to place in your care. If your home and circumstances are suitable, you may be asked to look after two or three foster children instead of one. However, siblings, even of bigger groups, are placed in the same home when at all possible.

As a foster child must be given their own bedroom, the agency will insist on this rule. You need to have a spare, unoccupied bedroom when fostering. If the foster children are siblings, some allowances may be made with regard to the sharing of bedrooms. It all depends on the ages of the siblings concerned.

Your Role as a Foster Carer

The daily care of a foster child is an obvious requirement and includes feeding and clothing the child and seeing to their basic needs. But carers are expected to go beyond this basic minimum of care. You should strive to help them develop physically, mentally, and emotionally, to be invested in their education and socialising, and to handle common behaviours of this group correctly.

When you decide to become a foster carer, you will be investing in the wellbeing of the child on all levels.

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