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What all prospective foster parents should know

The care and protection of a child is the most important factor in the foster care process.  One of the elements that contribute towards effective foster care is to place the foster child with a capable prepared and committed foster family.  This is reached through recruitment, screening and training of prospective foster parents.

Free State Care in Action promote foster care through outreach and awareness programs.  This raise awareness within communities as it informs the general public and prospective foster parents about the value of foster care.  This result in the recruitment of prospective foster parents.

The Children Act stipulates that foster parents needs to be fit and proper.  This makes it necessary to screen prospective foster parents to ensure that children are matched with the right foster parents. Free State Care in Action social workers will assess the qualities of prospective foster parents, focussing on their strengths and their ability to meet the needs of the foster child. The screening process includes checking the criminal background of prospective foster parents, investigating their home circumstances, interviewing all family members and determining their motive to become foster parents.  Prospective foster parents will need to undergo medical and psychological assessments and screenings for substance abuse.

Screened and suitable prospective foster parents will need to participate in a training programme.  The aim of training is to equip prospective foster parents with the necessary skill and knowledge required to become foster parents. Social workers of Free State Care in Action will coordinate the training programme and involve available stakeholders in the community.  Suitable and screened prospective foster parents will be placed in a database of prospective foster parents awaiting the placement of a vulnerable child.

Any person interested in becoming a foster parent can contact their local social work office or Free State Care in Action at 051-4446143