Fostering is always a serious responsibility, as it involves taking care of children in varying degrees of distress. If you are willing to open your home and heart to children in need of care, you should know the eligibility requirements first. Since the approval process for foster parents in Scotland is somewhat different from those in England and Wales, the information shared next should be quite valuable.
Whether you plan to foster a special needs child or not, every foster parent in Scotland and UK must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a full-time resident of the United Kingdom.
- You must be an adult aged at least 18+ and preferably 21+.
- Your home (rented or owned) must have at least one spare bedroom that’s adequate for a child to sleep in.
If you get through the primary set of requirements, that’s when the foster care agency will contact you for your permission to perform a set of background checks. These checks and the interviews may take as long as six months to complete, although they are generally completed much faster.
After getting your permission, the agency will check your medical history, parental history, criminal history (if applicable), financial status, residential status, marital status, etc. You will also need to provide them with the contact information of two people called “referees,” who:
- Will guarantee that all information you provided in the application is genuine to the best of their knowledge.
- Are not financially/emotionally dependent on you.
For you to qualify through this round, none of their findings should contradict the agency’s pre-set standards. Contact a foster care agency in Scotland to get more details on the secondary eligibility standards.
If you get through the second set of requirements, you will be interviewed by a fostering panel at home. The fostering experts will ask questions to gauge your personality and verify some of the provided information. Post-interview, the fostering panel will submit a report with recommendations to your fostering agency. Individuals deemed suitable to become foster parents will be informed soon after.
You will be deemed an eligible foster parent upon getting through the interview successfully. The agreement is simply a contract between you and your foster care agency, which will have you agree with the agency’s conditions:
- For financial allowances, reimbursements, and other forms of support.
- Training, availability, and assistance.
- Treating every foster child as a family member.
- Creating and maintaining an acceptably safe and healthy home environment.
- Against meting out physical/corporal punishments to any foster child under your care.
- Against forcing any child into any action that may cause physical or emotional harm.
Fostering Children in Scotland: Eligibility Check
That’s pretty much all there is to the eligibility for fostering children in Scotland, and it’s not at all difficult to get through the rounds for most people. It should be noted that applicants with special education, training, and experience in teaching, counseling, child therapy, and childcare are more likely to be qualified for the more difficult fostering jobs.