Fostering children in need of loving guardians is a full-time, paid job, and just like any other job, there are some minimum qualifications willing adults must meet. However, since the job involves caring for children, fostering is much more than just another profession.
The main qualifications necessary here are not as much about a potential foster parent’s academic qualifications as they are about personality and experience. If the idea interests you, read on to know if you are ready and qualified to become a foster parent.
The eligibility criteria to foster children in Scotland and the UK in general are not the most demanding, but they do vary in accordance with the kind of care that you wish to provide. Nevertheless, the minimum eligibility requirements to foster children in the United Kingdom are as follows.
- Technically, the minimum age requirement to become a foster parent is 18, but most foster care agencies prefer adults aged 21+.
- All foster parents must either be a UK citizen or a permanent/indefinite resident.
- They should have sufficient time available to care for the children under their care.
- They must pass the 2-Stage Assessment Test conducted by their local foster care agency.
If you meet the age, residency, and time requirements, sign up with an agency like fcascotland.co.uk to see your opportunities as a foster parent.
Variations in Foster Care: General
Depending on the kind of fostering care that you are willing to provide, some of the eligibility requirements as well as the responsibilities will vary. Let us learn about the variations based on time first.
- Short Term: Anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months.
- Long Term: Full-time fostering until children reach adulthood.
- Emergency: Providing a safe and secured shelter to children on short notice; may last anywhere from one night to a few days.
These are the three primary foster care options for most providers and children. However, there are a few special case scenarios as well.
Variations in Foster Care: Special
To sign up as a specialist foster care provider of any kind, you will need to have specialized training in respect to that specific type of fostering. In some cases, the foster agency may arrange for the necessary training, but that’s not always an option for more serious instances.
- Specialist therapeutic: Trained foster parents are required to take care of foster children with behavioural issues, disabilities, and other special care needs.
Respite is defined by the government as a different kind of foster care, but it is just short-term therapeutic specialist fostering. You will still need the same qualifications, but you will not have to provide the children with long-term care. Although you can get paid for both, adoption practice and kinship (taking care of children in the family) is not exactly the same as professional fostering.