How can you become a foster parent in the UK?
Princess Catherine recently made headlines for visiting the Foundling Museum with Professor Green to meet foster parents and people who had personal experiences of the care system in the UK.
The museum focuses on the history of the Foundling Hospital, which cared for children abandoned by mothers who couldn’t look after them.
In recent months, a scheme called Now Foster has been targeting professional Londoners to open up their homes to foster children in the same way they did for Ukrainian refugees.
But who can become a foster parent, what are the responsibilities, and are there any monetary rewards for the role?
Here is everything you need to know about becoming a foster parent in the UK.
Who can become a foster parent?
In the UK, to be a foster parent, you need to be a UK resident or have indefinite leave to remain, and have the ability to take care of a child or a young individual, often on a full-time basis.
While the minimum age limit to foster is 18, many foster service providers ask prospective foster parents to be at least 21 years old.
Foster parents aren’t required to own their home, but they will usually have to have a spare room for the child.
Those who meet these criteria are put through a fostering assessment. The two-stage assessment will look into the practical information about the applicant’s circumstances, like where you live, your general health, your family history, and study your profile by asking about your personality, religious beliefs, experience with children, hobbies, and more.
What are the responsibilities of a foster parent?
A foster parent is expected to care for the child as a part of a team, attend any necessary training, help the child manage their behaviour and feelings, and advocate for their foster kid.
Foster parents also have to keep records and write reports about their foster child.
How much do foster parents get paid?
Foster parents receive financial help from the Government to help with the cost of their service.
The minimum amount they receive is often between £154 and £270 a week. The maximum amount a foster parent can be given depends on circumstances such as where they live, which fostering service they use, their foster child’s age, their level of experience, and the child’s specific needs.
Foster parents are also entitled to care relief when it comes to taxes. This allows them to earn £10,000 from fostering before they have to pay any taxes on their earnings. Plus, they get tax relief for every week they foster a child.