There are individuals who would rather not go the route of adoption and who would seek to not have something so permanent. This week we will examine the option of Foster Parenting.
Foster care is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. Foster care is often used to provide temporary care while parents get help sorting out problems, or to help children through a difficult period in their lives. Often, children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely. Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.
Foster parenting is different from adoption because unlike adoption, the foster parents do not get the biological rights of the child transferred to them. To qualify for being a foster parent, the applicant has to be between the ages of 25 and 65 and be in good moral and legal standing Additionally, you should have suitable accommodation to place the child and be financially able to assist in the welfare of the child. The financial responsibility will not be left on the foster parent alone because the child is still in the care of the State. That is, the Government will assist financially every month by sending monetary funds to alleviate some of the expenses that may occur and will also assist in the purchasing of any books and school related expenses.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, the following should be noted:
- You must be willing to undergo a medical examination
- Two references are required from persons who can comment on your suitability and readiness to receive and care for a child
- The Child Development Agency (CDA) should be satisfied that the child’s growth and development will be maintained.
- A Children’s Officer will conduct a home visits to assess the environment in which the child will be residing. This includes interviews with the applicant(s) and members of the household.
- Foster parents must be prepared to allow the foster child to maintain contact with his or her biological parents or relatives and allow for the reintegration of the child once a recommendation to that effect has been made by the social worker.
Even if you already have biological children, you can still be a foster parent. It’s a personal and empathetic decision that would significantly improve the wellbeing of a child.
Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)