Journey of Hearts: Understanding Foster Parent Requirements & Responsibilities

Explore the biggest foster parent requirements and responsibilities with insights from Valerie, a foster carer with Origins. Learn about the home safety, communication, advocacy, and reporting needs of foster parenting.

Welcome back to our blog, aspiring foster parents! After exploring key aspects of what it means to be a foster parent including a day in the life of a foster family, what it's like to welcome a child in care into your home,and social worker home visits, we're now turning our attention to an essential topic: foster parent requirements and responsiblities. In this installment of Journey of Hearts, we'll hear more from Valerie, an experienced Origins foster carer since 2019, as she shares her insights into the core responsibilities and requirements of being a foster parent.

Ticking the Boxes: Mandatory Foster Parent Requirements

Being a foster parent requires fulfilling certain mandatory requirements. From having a spare bedroom to being able to drive or living in a city with good transport links, it's all about ensuring your home and life are set up for success when you welcome a child in care into your home. You can learn more about the core criteria here to see if you would be a good candidate for becoming a foster carer.

Foster Parent Requirements: Home Safety

One of the most important foster parent requirements is that the home will be safe for children in your care. This covers the full gamut of safety, everything from getting Garda vetted and obtaining a dog license if you have a pet, to turning your home into a veritable child-safe 'Fort Knox' for young toddlers - these are just some of the adaptations that might be necessary according to Valerie. The assessment process handles meeting these requirements before any child is placed in your care.

Communication: A Key Requirement for Foster Parents

Good, open and frequent communication is not just a skill, but a requirement when it comes to foster parenting. Regular contact with your support network, including Origins and fellow foster parents, can make your journey smoother and more rewarding, providing you with much needed support when dealing with the day-to-day task of caring. By keeping her Origins link worker in the loop, Valerie is able to get additional supports whenever they're needed to help her in her role as a foster carer.

Child Advocacy and Tracking Progress: Additional Foster Parent Requirements

As a foster parent, you're an advocate for your child's needs. You'll need to approach any potential issues with an open and curious mindset to make sure that the child in your care receives the necessary support to help them deal with them. Valerie suggests carers take advantage of some of the additional supports and resources that Origins can provide for children in care, like art therapy.

Keeping track of the child in care's progress through weekly reports is another key requirement, as it helps chart the child's journey and allows you to see the real impact you can have on a child's life.

Discover more about the foster parent requirements and responsibilities that you'll have if you choose to embark on this journey in the video below, where Valerie shares her personal experience about the essentials of being a foster carer:

For more from the Journey of Hearts series with Valerie, take a look at our previous posts where she shares about her day-to-day life as a foster carer and explains the social worker home visits.

Are you ready to embrace the requirements and rewards of being a foster parent? We're here to guide and support you on this incredible journey. Start by filling out our application form to become a foster parent or reach out to our team of experts to determine if foster care is the right path for you.

A portrait photo of Eithne Larkin, a team member at Origins Foster Care smiling and looking at the camera.
Written by:
Eithne LarkinEithne Larkin
July 13, 2023
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