Frequently Asked Questions
Some myths and frequently asked questions regarding fostering, if you find your questions still aren't answered or you would like to find out more than please contact us on 0845 094 5651.
Can I become a foster carer if my partner or I have a criminal conviction?
A previous criminal conviction would not necessarily disqualify you from fostering; it would depend upon the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. It is standard for us to check police records at an early stage in the application process so we would need you to discuss any convictions with us as soon as possible so that we could decide whether or how it might affect your application. This information would remain confidential at all times.
Can I continue to work whilst fostering?
This would depend on the nature of your employment and the hours you work. We would expect in the case of a couple that one of you would be available to attend meetings, support groups etc. during the day, and of course be available for the child if they needed collecting from school. If you worked from home this may be possible, we would need to discuss this with you.
What sort of checks are carried out?
There are various checks that we must undertake during the assessment process. We carry out a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check to ascertain if you have been convicted of any crimes in the past. We also make enquiries with your local Social Services Department, Education Department and Health Service. A standard health & safety check is also made on your home to ensure that it does not pose an unnecessary risk to children.
If a young person didn’t fit in with our family could I ask for them to be removed?
Any decision to move a child or young person from your home would have to be discussed and planned so as to keep the disruption for the child to a minimum. We would hope that you would give the young person a fair trial period before this decision was made and allow Xcel 2000 and Local Authority time to find an alternative placement. In the event of a major incident/physical injury we would act immediately to secure an alternative placement.
Do I have a choice as to what young person I have and how much will I know about the child/young person before they are placed with me?
When a referral for a child is made to Xcel 2000 a careful match is made – that is matching the needs of the child with a foster carer whose skills and experience could best meet those needs. This process is undertaken in conjunction with the local authority making the referral. We discuss every placement with our carers and it is your decision as to whether to take a young person. We will provide you with as much information about the young person and their background as possible, including any difficult behaviour and how to manage it. You do need to be aware that sometimes we have very little information, especially in an emergency. We would always, however, seek to find out quickly as much as possible.
Will there always be someone available to contact if I need advice?
Yes – Xcel 2000 operates a 24 hour 52 weeks a year support system. A qualified Social Worker will always be available to speak to on the phone.
Can I take the young person on holiday with me?
Yes. It is an expectation that children have an annual holiday. There may be some children who may not be allowed to leave Britain.
Can I adopt a child if I get attached to them?
This would depend on the child’s circumstances and legal status. Several children do get adopted by their foster carers but this isn’t something that would automatically happen.
Do Foster Children have to have their own bedroom?
Yes, the only exception to this is if there are two brothers or sisters who are able to share. Children that are not related cannot a share bedroom.
Would I meet other Foster Carers?
Yes, Xcel foster carers are encouraged to form links to offer mutual support to each other. They meet regularly for support groups and training.