When considering your eligibility as a foster parent, authorities will look for the following:
- People who genuinely like being around children and young people.
- Those who have the time and energy to provide the love, care and nurturing that a foster child will demand (elderly people and those who work long hours, for instance, may not be a good candidate.)
- Good communication skills, which will help them to work with the authorities and the child’s family, as well as building a relationship with the child.
- Patience, flexibility and a non judgemental attitude.
Your criminal record – whether you’ve been tried or convicted for a sexual or violent offence.
Your work and other commitments.
Your financial and social situation.
Each individual health authority will have different assessment criteria that you will need to meet in order to be considered as a foster family. In general, however, your ability to provide a safe, loving family environment, and deal with potential problems related to abuse and other negative influences on the child, will be considered.
Fostering a child is not always easy – particularly when they have come from an abusive or broken home, however, it can be a rewarding experience for you and your family.