Making the decision to become a foster carer will have an impact on your life as well as the life of your partner or family members living in your home.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a foster carer is knowing you have contributed to positively changing a young person’s life. In order to help make these changes you will need various types of support.
First and foremost it is important to have the support of the rest of your household members. As a foster child will be coming to live in your home it is vital that everyone else living there is in favour of the idea and can help to provide the most supportive environment possible.
As well as your household members, it is important to have the support of other family members and friends as they can help you through the more challenging aspects of fostering. Becoming a foster carer is a hugely positive experience but it can also be demanding at times and having the support of others can make a great difference.
Whether you pursue your foster care through your local council or an independent foster care agency, there will be support systems in place to help you with all aspects of fostering.
Support groups and meetings allow you to share your experiences with others and collective knowledge can be a welcome helping hand, enabling foster carers to continuously learn from each other.
You should have access to any training you require to help you along the foster care route and yearly reviews from your fostering service provider help you to continually provide the best care possible.
You could also make use of training programmes which offer access to NVQ Level 3 Caring for Children and Young People so you can build your academic qualifications during your time as a foster carer.
Foster carers are helped by a qualified and suitably experienced supervising social worker as well. The supervising social worker will visit on a regular basis to offer ongoing help and advice.
In terms of financial remuneration for foster care , all carers should receive a minimum allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child in their home. The national minimum allowances act as a base guide and the actual allowance that a foster carer will receive depends on a number of factors, in particular the specific needs of an individual child.
Current legislation means many foster carers throughout Britain do not pay income tax on any money earned from fostering. Foster carers may be exempt from tax on all or most of their fostering income, depending on how many children they look after, whether or not it is a full tax year and whether or not there are other foster carers in the same household.
Fostering also entitles you to a scheme called Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) which helps you to get a basic State Pension. From 2010, HRP will be replaced by weekly credits for foster carer.
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.