How to Foster A BabY in the UK?
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Most Agencies don’t take applications from people who only want to foster babies. This is because Local Authorities, who place the children with Agencies, are usually able to find placements in-house, therefore foster carers with Independent (also known as Private) Fostering Agencies rarely get offered baby placements.
Baby and Child fostering.
In the UK babies and infants are the children most often fostered by Local Authorities, be returned to care and to stay in care. Figures show that up to 20 percent of admissions are infants.
There are babies who have been placed in care voluntarily by their main carer(s). Some babies have suffered neglect and been exposed to drugs or alcohol pre birth, they are often premature, underweight and more likely than other children to have serious medical problems, disabilities and developmental delays.
Foster care is a particularly important service because it goes a long way in meeting the secure attachment needs that all children have, which research finds will help the child’s life chances.
When babies and toddlers are placed in care, the council’s care plan is usually to work towards the return to their birth family, long term (permanent) fostering or adoption.
Fostering a baby means having to be available 24 hours a day, the same as all parents. However you might be required to provide special medical treatment which means undertaking specialist training before the baby arrives.
Foster carer training
UK Agencies provide training courses for all of the children’s developmental stages, also training about saying goodbye and letting go, this is particularly important for the fostering family to help cope with the feelings of loss when the baby moves on.
Contact with birth parents
Foster carers are usually required to work with the birth parents, especially in the arrangements for regular contact which is often in your own home or at a family centre.
Contact might be once to seven times a week, supervised by you or the council and can be difficult at times. Contact often causes disruption to infants’ daily routines which makes your job to give settled care more difficult. However, when all goes well, you will be rewarded by helping the birth parent and baby develop their relationship and move on to a successful future together.
If you did foster a baby, you would be responsible for taking the child to and from contact arrangements, meetings and medical visits so it’s preferable that you have transport available.
Applying To Foster A Child in the UK
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer, fill out the form below. An experienced fostering advisor with knowledge about vacancies in your area will arrange for Agencies to be in touch within three working days.
Foster Carer Vacancies
Foster Carer's Blog
Another busy weekend in the Fostering household. On Friday my Link Worker visited for a coffee and a catch-up. It was really nice to have a face-to-face conversation rather than via Zoom which can be rather frustrating and subject to all kinds of connection issues. We discussed James (name changed) and how he was progressing