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How can I prepare to be a foster carer?

Becoming a foster carer is a big decision. We know that it will impact on every part of your life so we want to prepare you as much as possible for the journey ahead.

If you’re not quite ready to start the application process, there are lots of things you can do to get extra experience that will make all the difference once you are fostering. To give you an idea of what we’re looking for, we’ve put together this guide on preparing to foster.

Get in touch

Speak to our friendly recruitment team to find out if there are any specific things they want you to achieve before progressing with your application. You can learn about the requirements to foster and ask us questions about the approvals process.

Research fostering

Our team can provide you with lots of information about what to expect from fostering, but we understand that talking to real life foster carers is one of the best ways of learning. Reading about other people’s experiences on our blog is a great way to find out how our carers feel about fostering.

Get experience with children

Volunteering in schools, kids clubs and support groups is a useful way of getting experience interacting with children and young people, as is babysitting the children of your friends, relatives and neighbours. You can also consider mentoring young people from challenging backgrounds, which will teach you about the types of experiences foster children have.

Build your support network

It’s really important to have a support network around you in difficult times, especially if you are planning on becoming a single parent foster carer. Talk to your family, friends and neighbours about fostering and make sure there are people you can rely on at all hours of the day.

Decorate your spare bedroom

Moving into a new home is scary for any child or young person, especially if they have left their family behind. One way of making their new room welcoming is by decorating it so that it’s easier for them to settle in. Remember to keep the room non-gender and non-age specific as you might be looking after children from all sorts of backgrounds.

Adapt your employment situation

You can still work if you foster, as long as your job allows you to meet the needs of the child or young person. Discuss your plans to foster with your employer to see if they can offer you flexibility around working hours and taking time off.

Let us know if your circumstances change

Changes in your life may affect your eligibility to foster. Remember to contact us if you get a new job, meet a new partner or now have a spare bedroom available. Even if you’ve decided that fostering isn’t for you, keep us informed about your decisions so that we can update your record.

Apply to St Christopher’s

We recruit carers from across the East of England and West Midlands. Chat to us today to find out how you could change a child’s life.

Start your fostering journey