To become a foster carer, you must pick an agency, start the conversation, apply, train, and be approved. If you have got this far, well done! That is a real achievement, and you should celebrate it but going through the steps to become a carer doesn’t always mean you are ready to foster a child. Here are four ways to tell if you are prepared, on the ball, and good to go.

You Have Great Professional Relationships in Place

Every private agency like Fostering People will work very closely with you throughout your time as a foster carer. Therefore, a natural part of what you do will be to communicate and work with a team of social workers. If you have managed to establish a professional rapport and feel confident, comfortable, and in tune with your team, then this is a great sign that you are ready for the next step.

You’ve Absorbed the Training

When you become a carer you will go through a set amount of mandatory training, alongside elective sessions that you can pick and choose as you see fit. However, it is not enough to just complete the training you must also be able to put it into practice. So, when you feel confident that you can translate what’s on the page into the real world, you know you are prepared to open your home to a foster child.

The Bedroom Space is Set Up

There are also practical things to think about, most importantly, the foster child’s bedroom in your house. Is it ready? Well, what does ready even mean? It should have a bed, drawers, and curtains as a bare minimum. It is up to you how much or how little you put into the space, but it needs to be at least clean, functional, and neutral because you never really know what gender or age of the child you are going to welcome into it.

Your Support Network Is Strong

Foster carers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, which is both amazing and tiring. Similar to parenting any child, it will be necessary to have a strong network of support around you because this is how you will regulate, get time out, and keep yourself heading in the right direction. It is not a professional role where you can completely isolate yourself. So, if you haven’t already, pick up the phone or arrange to go for a coffee with the people you love the most and talk to them about the road that lies ahead. Knowing that you have people in your corner is an irreplaceable feeling that will bring you comfort in the times when you need it most.

So, if you can tick all of the boxes above, you are well on your way to welcoming your first foster child into your home. Remember your training, lean on your friends, and throw yourself into the process because it is undeniably a unique experience.