Can I foster as a single person?
Absolutely, as long as you care about offering a nurturing, happy home and want to improve the life of a child, we would love to hear from you.
Do I need to own my own home?
No, owning your own home is not necessary. Many of our foster carers live in rented accommodation.
Do I need a spare room?
Yes, you will not be able to foster unless you have a spare bedroom available. Same sex siblings are sometimes able to share a room. Non related children and siblings of opposite sexes would need a bedroom each.
Can I still work while I foster?
Possibly, this would depend on the flexibility and nature of your employment. One foster carer per family would need to be available to attend meetings and support groups as well as collect children from school and look after them during school holidays. Some foster carers find that they are able to work from home without too much juggling, although your fostering role should always take priority.
Will I have a choice about which young person or child I care for?
Yes, during your assessment and training, you will learn about the types of fostering available and the rewards and challenges involved. Our placements team work hard to make sure that children are placed into families with the right skills and experience to meet their needs. They will work with you to make sure that you have as much information as possible to help you to decide if you are able to care for the child or young person put forward.
Will a criminal record stop me from becoming a foster carer?
Not necessarily, it would depend on what the conviction was for, when it happened and if it would be likely to have an impact on the children in your care. Please mention any convictions when you make your initial enquiry, so that we can advise you knowing more about your individual circumstances. We also carry out police checks as part of the application process. This information would of course remain confidential.
What checks will be carried out?
Various checks are required before you can be passed as a foster carer, including; DBS check (police check), enquiries with your local social services, education and health departments. A health and safety check will also be carried out on your home. All of this is done by our lovely team on your behalf to reduce the stress caused to you during the process. You will be supported and made aware of each step throughout.
What would happen if I didn’t get on with a young person or child in my care?
All of our foster carers have a dedicated social worker from our team who would meet with you regularly to make sure things were going well. You would have access to 24/7 support from our team so that if there were any incidents, night or day, you would not be expected to deal with it alone. Many of our foster carers have been looking after children for decades and love to offer their advice to their fellow carers. We are lucky to have a particularly friendly and experienced team of foster carers who meet up regularly at support groups and on days out, including our foster care ambassadors; part of their role is to support new foster families. You would also be given training on how to cope with a range of challenging behaviours to equip you to manage any difficult situations.
Although we work hard to make sure that we match foster children with the right foster carers, sadly sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, placements do break down. If this happens, moving a child or young person from your home would be discussed and planned to keep the disruption to a minimum. We would hope that you would give the young person a fair trial period before this decision was made and allow us time to find an alternative foster carer for them to live with.
Can I take the young person or child in my care on holiday with me?
Yes, we expect the young people and children in your care to enjoy an annual holiday. There may be some children who may not be allowed to go abroad.
Can I adopt a child if I get attached to them?
It depends on the child’s circumstances and legal status. Some children do get adopted by their foster carers but this isn’t something that would automatically happen.
If you find that your questions still aren't answered or you would like to find out more, please contact us on 0845 094 5651.