Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
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Fostering in NI(5 Posts)
I am thinking of giving up work to become a full time Foster carer but I am confused as to the best place to apply to. Does anyone have any experience re the private agencies within NI?
Sorry, posted in wrong thread. I have reposted under fostering.
Hi I am from NI as well and am looking for more information on how to get started too
We live in NI and are a few weeks away from approval.
Ring up whichever trusts and private agencies you are interested in and have a chat.
We live close to the boarder of two trusts so we rang them both and went to an information evening hosted by one of them. A very lovely social worker came out to our house and had a chat about why we want to foster and what thoughts we had around what type of fostering we would like to do.
We also contacted a private agency and had a very long chat with them.
In the end we decided to go with our neighbouring trust. They invited us on a skills to foster course which took place over 2 full Saturdays or an evening midweek for 6 weeks. The last few sessions were done over video conference because of lockdown.
We had to complete a home study, again over video conference. I know a lot of people feel that this is quite intrusive, but we honestly found it to be ok. Almost all of the questions centred around our childhood experiences of being parented, how we parent now, our daily routines, how my DH and i resolve disagreements...nothing really out there or shocking.
They will want you to be financially stable and not reliant on the income generated by fostering as you will have to be able to support yourself between placements. Our trust doesn't really view the money as an income, it's there to help meet the needs of the child(ren) in your care.
Trusts don't pay as much as private agencies, but when children come into care they are under the care of the trust, the trust then tries to find them carers from their own pool of carers before refferimg them over to private agencies. Because of this some people say that carers in private agencies wait longer between placements and tend to get more complex cases, although other people dispute this.
I have no experience as a foster carer at all, so I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in trust vs private agency, but I do think you should do your own thorough research on it all.
We also found a huge difference in approaches and attitudes between the two trusts we contacted, so consider more than one if you could practically accommodate driving frequently to either area.
Thanks for the information. Good luck!
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