Posted June 18, 2015
Single people have so much to offer children and young people at the most vulnerable times in their lives.
At Blue Sky, we receive referrals from local authorities all over the south of England, some of which specifically request a single foster carer.
The reasons for this are as individual as the children and young people referred. For example, a young person could have been subjected to neglect and abuse by their mum or other female adult so the local authority may decide it is in the young person’s best interests to be placed with a single male foster carer. Our Placements Team gives careful consideration to match the needs of the young person with a single male carer. If a good match can be found, the place will be offered to the local authority. Sadly, on occasions, there are no single male carers to offer them. The same can be said for single female foster carers and if they aren’t available, what happens to the young person in need?
The tentative enquiry you made by a telephone call or via the ‘contact us’ part of the website leads to the initial home visit from a member of our team. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and discuss what it’s like to be a single carer. It’s the time when you find out about the high level of support and help we offer our foster carers. It’s a time when you look at the comprehensive initial and on-going training, the generous allowances and the tremendous rewards fostering brings to both carers and their foster children.
The initial visit is a chance to chat about your child care experience. Whilst it’s not necessary to have had your own children, it’s an opportunity to talk about your involvement, for example, with children and young people in your extended family, any youth work you’ve undertaken, working in a nursery or helping out at the local school. Any and all experience of child care will help you to have a greater understanding of the needs of children and young people and it will demonstrate how your skills will help your foster children.
If you have children or pets living with you or as frequent visitors, you can discuss how we help to keep them safe, and how we will keep you safe as a foster carer. You may wish to talk about how you will equip your spare bedroom for a foster child or young person, how we will help you to use your respite allowance and the support you will receive. If you’re concerned about what will happen to your foster child if you are ill or just need someone to care for them for a few hours to give you a break, this is a great time to talk it through.
So, you’ve found out the facts and you’re keen to go forward to the next stage, what can you expect? Well, the assessment process is very thorough and usually takes four to six months, although this can vary; every person’s situation is different. During that time, you will get to know your assessing social worker very well and vice versa! Many people say this is an interesting process as you discuss most aspects of your life. As a result of the assessment process, a report is submitted to a panel of people independent from Blue Sky, who will invite you to meet with them and discuss your wish to foster.
Once you have been approved to foster, you will be looking forward to your first placement. This can be an exciting time, but you may be apprehensive. This is perfectly normal and understandable. Don’t forget, we will be with you all the way, supporting you, guiding you and providing you with comprehensive support. You are never left to cope alone.
Here at Blue Sky Fostering, we encourage people from all backgrounds to become foster carers. Single, married, co-habiting, same sex couples, people with a big family of their own and people with no family of their own, regardless of race or religious belief. Foster carers are needed from all backgrounds to care for vulnerable children and young people from all backgrounds, so why not call us today on 0800 035 6499 or click here to get in touch.