Finding the Right Option as a Foster Care Provider: What You Need to Know

There are more children in foster care than the system is fully equipped to handle. While that is a difficult situation at this time, it can be remedied easily if more eligible adults are both informed and willing to become foster care providers. Focussing on the “informed” part, this post will introduce future foster carers to what options they have and how to choose the right ones.

Choosing a Foster Care Agency

If you want to join the foster system as a care provider, you will need to apply at a registered foster care agency near your location. So, how should you choose between the fostering agencies near you?

There are several factors to be considered here and there are some variables, depending on exactly where you live in the UK. Nevertheless, there are some universal standards for comparing them. These would be:

  • Reputation: How do they treat care providers and the children in care?
  • Attitude:Do they have a friendly, helpful attitude towards the children in care and their foster carers?
  • Communication: Are they easy to reach for information and help when needed?
  • Training: Do they offer training to their foster care providers?
  • Allowance: Is the allowance provided by them competitive in comparison to other fostering agencies nearby?

For information on how to become a foster care provider at a friendly fostering agency, visit

Choosing the Right Type of Fostering

There are several different types of foster care jobs, but not everyone is qualified or fit to serve in all of them. As long as your application is accepted and you pass the two-stage interview(s), you will be qualified for preliminary training. Post training, short term and emergency foster care are usually the two types of foster care where most new carers start. You will get briefly introduced to those two in the following paragraphs.

Emergency Foster Care

Emergency foster carers only need to provide a safe shelter to children in immediate need of that. They do so for a very brief period of time. The child’s stay can be as short as a few hours at night, or as long as a week in rare cases.

However, if you choose to become an emergency foster carer, you must have an extra bedroom ready to shelter a child at all times, except when it’s already occupied by another child in care. The notice period will almost always be very short (less than 24-hours).

Short-Term Foster Care

Short term fostering will have you take care of children for just a few weeks or months at a time. The children given in your short-term care will have needs that match your own qualifications, prior training, and experience as a foster care provider. The notice period might be short at times, but never as short as it is in emergency foster care.

If you have education and training relevant to handling more demanding foster care jobs such as specialist therapeutic care, remand care, and respite care, let your agency know beforehand for adequate jobs that suits your special skills as an expert.

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