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Fostering during the Covid19 pandemic – what to expect from making your first enquiry through to attending fostering panel

Foster carers continue to be urgently needed as we begin this New Year. There are thousands of children in need of foster care across the UK and the pandemic continues to put vulnerable children at risk. Becoming a foster carer during the pandemic is possible and we encourage you to get in touch with our independent fostering agency if you are considering a career in fostering. During lockdown last year our newest team member N* made her initial enquiry into fostering with Focus. Whilst many businesses and industries have been put on hold, people working in the fostering sector have not stopped throughout all the challenges of the pandemic and we welcomed N* as our newest foster carer in July. If you are passionate about helping children to achieve their potential and believe every child deserves a happy childhood, we want to hear from you. To put your mind at rest and to tell you all about becoming a foster carer during the pandemic, we have an interview with N. N went through the whole process to becoming a foster parent in the early months of the pandemic and has shared her experience, right from the first enquiry through to attending our virtual panel. This interview will show you it is possible to become a foster carer during the pandemic and will hopefully encourage you to get in touch with us today if you are thinking about fostering.

Fostering during the pandemic – Interview with a Focus Foster Care foster carer.

Did you know you wanted to foster before the pandemic hit? Or did the crisis make you decide to become a foster carer?
I knew before, but it was the pandemic that made me think ‘what am I waiting for’. The thought of children being in sad situations during lockdown is what made me feel like the time was right.

Can you talk a little about the application process, how did the meetings and assessments go ahead with the Covid restrictions in place?
The assessment was very different to how it normally is, but I didn’t know any different. All of my assessment was done via Zoom, which I thought would feel strange, but it was handled so well. Focus made sure that I was kept in the loop at all times and my assessment and training although on zoom was held so professionally.

How did you find the process as a whole, from your first enquiry to being approved by panel? Did the pandemic cause delays or did everything run smoothly?
The process was very in depth and detailed, however I didn’t feel like I missed out or any corners were cut due to the process being different. From my very first enquiry, I felt totally at ease and that I had 100% support. I honestly enjoyed the whole process. There were some very minor delays with references and so on during the assessment, but everything was dealt with and addressed so efficiently. My panel meeting was also held via zoom, but again everyone was in the same boat and put me at ease straight away.

I have felt so armed with knowledge, support and guidance. I wish I’d have made contact with Focus sooner.

N – Focus Foster Care

Were you concerned about the risk of contracting the coronavirus once you began work as a foster carer? Are there measures in place to keep foster carers/children safe from infection?
I think this is a worry everyone has, in every job at the moment but I don’t feel like I am more worried about it because I am a foster carer. Focus have been great and provided specific training, and have given me advice on how to ensure that we stay as Covid safe as possible.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to foster during the pandemic but is unsure or nervous about the process?
I would advise them to make that first step and get in touch with Focus. Any worries or concerns they have will be answered. I have felt so armed with knowledge, support and guidance. I wish I’d have made contact with Focus sooner.

Focus Foster Care are currently seeking inspiring people like N* to join our growing team of foster carers. If you have any questions or want to find out how to become a foster carer, please contact us on 0800 524 4797 or email admin@focusfostercare.com . Make 2021 the year you help to turn a child’s life around, make it the year you truly make a difference.

To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.