How to become a foster parent in the UK: Tips and guidance | The Sun

BEING a foster parent means welcoming a child into your family and caring for them as your own.

Fostering services are welcoming everyone to apply, but what are the steps and what is important to look out for?

How to become a foster parent in the UK

To become a foster parent in the UK you need to be at least 18 years old.

However, some foster services will require someone to be at least 21.

The applicants can be married, single, or cohabiting.

There are also no strict limits regarding your living situation – you can be a homeowner or a tenant.

People from all religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are welcome.

If you are single and considering fostering a child, you will need to be at home full-time or have flexible part-time employment.

And if you are in a couple, one of you will need to be available full-time.

The following steps need to be taken when applying to be a foster parent, according to the UK Government's website:

  • You need to apply through your local council or an independent fostering agency.
  • Be aware you can only apply for one fostering service.
  • You will need to take a preparation course on fostering.
  • Every adult living in your household needs to pass an enhanced with barred lists Disclosure Service check.
  • Social workers will asses you and your household to make sure that you can take care of a child.
  • It is possible to give preferences about the future child such as age or gender.
  • After reviewing your application, the fostering service will set up a panel, that will make the recommendation.

What disqualifies you from being a foster parent in the UK?

Fostering applicants can be people of all backgrounds, however, there are five factors, which will prevent you from being approved.

Having a minor criminal conviction is okay, but if you have a criminal record for violent or sexual offences, the application for being a foster parent won't get approved.

Secondly, fostering services don't mind pets such as dogs, cats, snakes, fish and many more, but there are certain dog breeds that aren't allowed.

If you own a Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentine, or a Fila Brazillieros, you won't be a suitable candidate for fostering.

If you have a disability and need care of yourself, it won't be possible to apply as a solo foster parent.

However, it would not prevent you from applying in a foster couple.

Being a working foster parent is fine, but if you are applying as a solo foster parent and working full-time, it is likely you will get rejected.

Fostering services need the foster parent to be able to adjust their life around school times.

Finally, the foster child needs their own room and enough communal space.

The room should have at least a window, door, bed, storage, desk, chair, and radiator.

If one of these requirements can't be fulfilled, the application will likely get rejected.

How much do foster parents get paid in the UK?

The allowance given to help take care of the child you may be paired with depends on the type of care required and the age of the child or young person.

Children with more specific needs will require more care.

According to the website, the minimum allowance a foster parent gets paid in England is usually between £154 and £270 a week.

The allowance in Scotland is between £150 to £225 a week, in Wales between £200 to £228 a week, and in Northern Ireland foster parents get an allowance from £141 to £207 a week.

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