To foster or not to foster? Hmm, let me think. I could provide a safe and caring environment for a child or children or young people and would enjoy investing in lives and making a difference. If I did foster, there might still be time to have my own family later, or adopt later, couldn't I? I searched on the internet and sent an enquiry. I made a phone call too and waited for the reply, just incase no one followed up. A letter eventually came from the Fostering and Adoption team at my local authority and they duly sent a social worker for a home visit.
We chatted for about an hour or more. He chatted about my job and my house size and the ages of children or young people and the kinds of needs they might have. I wasn't fazed by the issues and needs the children and young people might have. I have been in both education and in child and youth and family work for years, so had lots of background skills and experience and expertise that I could offer. My size of house seemed to be an issue, as it would limit the number of children I could have in terms of bedrooms I had available. With this in mind, one child or young person wouldn't give me much income as a foster carer. He then said that because I am single, they would like me to either be not in work at all or be in work part time. My income would be drastically reduced and the figures I was shown for age of child would not be enough for it to be a viable option for me, financially. Unless I did my loft extension for the extra bedroom space? But that would need to be completed before the assessment to be a foster carer could begin, he said. They inspect the housing first before the training, he said. He left the forms with me to fill in if I wished to in the future. What about if I wanted to adopt? I had asked. Ah, well that is a completely different option, training and direction, he said. If I wanted to foster, that might be possible if I was accepted, after the training and if I wanted to adopt in the future then the adoption assessment and training would start all over again. He left me with much food for thought.