Requirements to Become Foster Parents in Australia
Thinking of becoming foster parents? It’s a fulfilling occupation that is fulfilling a real need in the community. Here are some of the requirements to become foster parents in Australia.
Taking on the responsibility to become a foster carer is not like a applying for a normal job. You don’t need to have traditional examination certificates or anything like that. But experience has shown that certain parents able to cope better if they have certain skills and personalities.
Coping with Child Behaviour
Because you can be dealing with children that have come from difficult backgrounds, you should have the patience to deal with challenging behaviour. These children may be withdrawn, quiet or have feelings of insecurity. Children are remarkably resilient and with the right care can still have a fulfilling childhood and reach their full potential.
You should have good communication skills. This is because you will be speaking to both the children and other people in the team that are responsible for them. This can include the foster care agency, the child’s birth parents, school teachers and government agencies.
Attachment to Children
Many people come into foster care because they love looking after children and have a real aptitude for helping children develop. This does bring with it a problem that some people do not consider. Will you be able to part with the child when the time comes for him/her to move back to their parents? This can be an emotional time for both child and carer.
On a practical level, your house should be large enough to accommodate additional children. Ideally there should be a spare bedroom so that the foster child can have a place that they can call their own. You don’t need to own a huge house to become a foster parent. Being able to offer a secure and loving environment is more important.
Types of People That Can Become Foster Parents
Applications to become foster parents are welcomed from all people. This includes single, married and partnered people. Whether you have children or not will not exclude you from becoming a foster parent.
You should be willing to undergo several checks before becoming a carer. This will usually involve either a fostering agency or representative from the authorities coming to visit you in your home. This will give them a feel for how you could cope with a foster child in your home. You should also be willing to undergo a criminal records check.
Training and Support
You will be given training as a new foster carer. This is often compulsory. So even if you are an experienced parent you should be willing to spend the time doing this. Looking after a foster child is different to bringing up one of your own children. Having professional training and support can help you deal with any issues that arise. It is also an ideal opportunity to network with other carers.
If you want further information on becoming a foster parent in Australia, you can contact Key Assets.