Foster Carer Meaning Explained
What is foster care?
Foster care is where a child or young person is placed in a foster home by the Local Authority where they will be cared for by a foster carer. The goal of foster care is to safeguard children who may be at risk for various reasons. They may be being neglected or abused; foster care offers children and young people a safe place to stay and be cared for while social workers work on a plan for the child’s future.
The long term goal of foster care is to give children a secure place to live and grow while their family is unable to look after them. Social workers will work with the birth family, and the child, to figure out the very best type of care to best suit the child and their interests. Foster care placements vary from short term placements lasting just a few months to long term arrangements that can last years.
What does it mean to foster a child?
Foster carers provide a valuable and independent service to children and young people in their local community. To foster a child, you must first be approved as a registered foster carer with an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA), like Fusion Fostering!
People who wish to foster must apply and go through an assessment process before they are approved. This is because the number one priority of fostering is always to protect and safeguard children. We will need to ensure that carers have a spare bedroom and enough time in their life to be able to foster a child. They should also be kind, caring, fond of children, passionate, warm, and friendly.
Once approved as a carer, it is a foster parents role to care for the child placed in their care. The child or young person will have been ‘matched’ with them by professional social workers to ensure the very best outcome for both you and the child. You will then be responsible for their day to day care at your home, ensuring that they attend school (if of age) and that their holistic needs are met.
Are foster carers paid?
Foster carers are paid an allowance to cover the cost of caring for the child in their care. You are paid an individual allowance for each foster child you look after in your home. This money is for necessities such as food and clothing but also expenses like holidays and pocket money.
As with any profession, fostering is recognised as being hard work and so carers are also paid a professional fee in recognition of their commitment and dedication to the role.
Further to this, foster carers are subject to certain tax exemptions and benefits. You can find out more by visiting our webpage here.
Why you should foster
Fostering is a viable career and a genuinely rewarding job that allows you to make a huge difference to young people’s lives in your local area. The personal sense of achievement and joy that comes from fostering cannot be compared with any other role. Our carers, at Fusion Fostering, love caring for and spending time with the inspiring young people who bring so much to their lives.
If you think you are well suited to fostering, you can take our quiz to find out whether you meet the criteria to apply! For any questions about fostering and becoming a carer, please get in touch. You can reach us by calling 03301 239 355 or filling out our contact form.
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