‘I love fostering and I’ve done it now for 15 years mostly as a single parent after my first marriage broke down. I was never really interested in meeting someone else and then of course as they always say, when I least expected it, I met Ian,’ said Kerry, from Devon.
Kerry’s situation is not unique. We encourage foster carers from all walks of life and all different family make-ups so for us there isn’t a typical family that is most suited to fostering.
But taking care of a foster child will affect your whole family, no matter what your connection to them, so we do need to make sure they are involved in the approval process. This doesn’t just apply to people living in the household or your partner – you also need to consider your wider family. If they will be around to help you, baby sit or take the children out on day trips or to parties then we have to check their background in a similar way to yours, although the approval process is not as extensive.
If you’re planning for a new partner to spend time with your foster children, he or she must have a background check and cannot stay overnight in the same home as any children you foster while this is going through. The process can take a little while so you and your new partner must be prepared to be a little patient too.
Kerry said: ‘I am always aware that whoever I am fostering may already have had a lot of adults coming in and out of their lives so it’s really important to me that I offer them a sense of stability. We understood the legal requirement of ensuring Ian’s background was checked out but more importantly for us, we needed to think about how best to introduce him to my foster kids.’
As well as taking you through the legal approval process, GLF can offer advice and support on how introduce a foster child to any new family member.
Kerry added, ‘The kids love Ian now and he’s added a whole new dimension to the support and care that I can provide to them. Being a bit patient was the right thing to do for both us and them.’